TONIGHT’S Bloom Fashion Benefit aims to raise cash toward establishing a women’s health centre in Phnom Penh under the auspices of Sihanouk Hospital Centre of HOPE.
The hospital hopes to open The Women’s Centre, a comprehensive medical centre, in December next year to offer high-quality medical care to all Cambodian women, regardless of their ability to pay.
Deputy Prime Minister Men Sam An, the first woman to hold the office in Cambodia, will be keynote speaker tonight. Theodore Allegra, deputy chief of Mission of United States Embassy, will present the Sihanouk Hospital Center of HOPE with a USAID ASHA grant of US$450,000 worth of mammography and ultrasound equipment to be used at the new centre.
Mam Bunheng, Cambodia’s Minister of Health, and other ministers are due to attend as well as many local and international dignitaries.
The programme will include a sit-down dinner, special video on women’s health, silent auction and fashion show featuring the works of four local designers – Eric Raisina, Jasmine Boutique, SCT (Sar Chantho) and Sophy & Sina.
Sponsors include Canadia Bank, Tan Tock Seng Hospital, ABA Bank, Comin Khmere and Europ Continents.
The SHCH hopes to raise US$1.5 million in the coming year to help establish and outfit the Women’s Centre before it opens. It will be managed by HOPE Worldwide, a multinational charity that has managed the SHCH in Phnom Penh for the past 14 years.
In that time, the hospital has provided more than one million patient consultations entirely free of charge. This includes treatment for diseases such as diabetes, tuberculosis and HIV and surgical procedures in orthopoedics, gastroenterolgy and cancer. The hospital has also helped train Cambodian medical professionals.
The Women’s Centre will offer pre- and post-natal care, family planning and screening and treatment of gynaecological cancers, reproductive tract infections and chronic and communicable diseases.
In collaboration with several international organisations, the centre will also serve as a training site for women’s health specialists.
Other programs will include women’s peer education networks and support groups and community outreach to the provinces.
Donations can be made online at the SHCH fundraising website, Care4Cambodia.org, or brought to the Sihanouk Hospital Centre of HOPE, Street 134, Sangkat Vealvong, Phnom Penh or PO Box 2318, Phnom Penh.