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Photo: Embassy of the Czech Republic in Phnom Penh
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Czech Republic to provide training and protection equipment to Cambodian neonatologists and health workers

On 9th February 2021 medical devices and equipment were officially handed over by the Czech Republic to the National Pediatric Hospital (NPH) in Phnom Penh during the ceremony witnessed by H.E. Mam Bunheng, Minister of Health, and Mr. Štěpán Vojnár, Chargé d’Affaires a.i.  of the Embassy of the Czech Republic in Phnom Penh.

Around 90 newborn care medical training models and other medical devices worth more than 200 thousand USD were arranged for the hospital´s use as a part of the bilateral development project and also within the humanitarian Covid-19 instrument. In addition to this, the Czech Republic also equipped public health facilities in Kampong Chhnang province with (more than 2 000 pieces of) Covid-19 personal protection equipment.

Training devices to Cambodian neonatologists are part of the 3-year project with NPH under the umbrella of the Czech official development cooperation with Cambodia. Last year, in January 2020, more than 30 devices including Czech made incubators and other state-of-art medical equipment to save newborn lives in Cambodia were already handed over to NPH.

In order to arrange the smooth delivery and an immediate staff preparedness amid Covid-19 travel restrictions to use the donated gear, multiple online training sessions with Czech medical specialists were arranged to facilitate the NPH key staff training.

The NPH provides the medical treatment to a number of babies and children from Phnom Penh as well as those transferred from provinces across the country. According to the Deputy Nursing Director of NPH Ms. Soklim Pay, the provided equipment can help the hospital to diversify and extend its neonatal care to more infants in Cambodian provinces   thanks to strengthened capacities of key medical staff at NPH and exchange of best practices from the Czech medical specialists. “We appreciate this long-term project as it has a great impact on wellbeing of our neonates and also on the strengthening of capacities of our staff. We even register an increase of demand from parents for our services from the last year so this support is very handful” says Ms. Soklim Pay.

The Czech Republic ranks among the countries with the lowest early neonatal rates worldwide and has an extensive experience to transfer in this domain. Over the last years, the average rate has been around 3 per thousand. With these rates, the Czech Republic ranks among countries with traditionally low infant mortality rates.

Although the current equipment supply and training is an essential part of the cooperation, more activities are being considered, including a new project between the Czech Republic and Cambodia/NPH to start in 2021. This time the focus will be given to support the establishment of perinatology center through the capacity building and medical devices delivery to the newly established maternity ward within the NPH.