Rising instances of congenital heart defects among the young prompt Calmette Hospital to act
Senate President Chea Sim speaks to a young patient at the children’s cardiology centre at Calmette Hospital on Tuesday.
CAMBODIA'S first children's cardiology
centre opened Tuesday at Calmette Hospital, aimed at treating a rising
number of youngsters with congenital heart defects.
heart centre was small and crowded. The number of patients has been
increasing every day, so we decided to build another heart center
specifically for child patients," Health Minister Nuth Sokhom said
during the opening of the US$320,000 centre that was also attended by
Senate President Chea Sim.
"The new building is an achievement
that will enhance our capacity to promote people's welfare," Nuth
Sokhom said, adding that the heart centre was constructed with
financial help from the French humanitarian NGO La chaine de l'Espoire
and Calmette Hospital.
A new neurology centre was also inaugurated at the same ceremony, he said.
Cambodia leads the way
Sim, who is also the vice president of Cambodian Medical Foundation,
said that treatment for heart problems costs much less in Cambodia than
"While in Singapore, Thailand, France and the US
heart treatment costs from $10,000 to $50,000, in Cambodia people
usually only pay up to $5,000," he said.
Heng Tay Kry,
secretary of state at the Ministry of Health and director of Calmette
Hospital, told the Post in an interview after the opening that many
thousands of Cambodian children have been affected by heart disease,
prompting Calmette to build a new centre specifically for children.
"Many of them have heart disease since birth and need surgery," he said.
"In Cambodia, there is only Calmette for such disease."