C AMBODIA Trust, which runs the only prosthetics and orthotics school in the
country, has taken another step forward with the opening of a new accommodation
block for its students.
The $72,000 building, which includes 14 bedrooms,
a library and a social area, was designed by a young Khmer architectural student
and built by Roymar Services.
Cambodia Trust established the National
School of Prosthetics and Orthotics at Phnom Penh's Calmette Hospital early last
year to train Cambodians to fit artificial limbs to amputees.
It now has
19 students on a three-year course. As well as prosthetics and orthotics, other
subjects such as psychology, sociology and mathematics are taught.
course attempts to get the students, none of whom are disabled, to understand
the feelings of amputees and make them more aware of their
Sometimes the students are told to disguise themselves as disabled
beggars, to get experience of how some disabled feel.
Bo Kim Song said understanding the attitude of patients was vital.
learn how to make them feel confident with artificial legs and walk properly
like normal people."
School principal Carson Harte said the students were
recruited from the Ministry of Social Action and NGOs around the
The school aimed to have a new intake of 12 students each year.
Eventually, he said, the school's four expatriate instructors could be replaced
"In three to four years, some of the students will become
teachers and in six to seven years from now there will be no more expats and the
project will still be run by Cambodian teachers as part of the international
Everything, including fitting amputees' legs, training
teachers and raising funds, will be done by Cambodians, said Harte.