Newly refurbished eye treatment wards at the 2nd December Hospital in Phnom Penh
were officially opened on Wednesday, Nov. 25.
The ribbon-cutting ceremony was chaired by State of Cambodia Minister of Health Dr.
Yim Chhay Ly and by David Burns, head of the British Mission in Cambodia.
Built in 1927, the hospital had fallen into disrepair, the walls had turned black,
and the building was dark and depressing, said Dr. F. G. Jeppe Smit of Southeast
"It is a pleasure to see the Eye Hospital changed and renovated," said
"After four months' of hard work, a 'prison' has been changed into a light,
pleasant hospital where eye patients can recover from their operations."
The refurbishment project was jointly undertaken by the British NGOs Help the Aged
U.K. and Southeast Asian Outreach, and involved repairing, redecorating and furnishing
the 45-bed capacity wards.
"What we see now is not only this renovated building, but also the beginning
of a process which will provide eye health care to the Cambodian people," said
Pratin Dharmarak, field director of Help the Aged.
She also expressed hope that the eye wards would be made available to poor people
with eye care problems.
The renovation of the hospital, which includes new equipment, cost U.S. $20,000,
and was funded by Help the Aged U.K.