Oral Rehydration Therapy (ORT) corner and the employment of two Out-Patient Department (OPD) Service Assistants at the Angkor Hospital for Children (AHC)

Project Oral Rehydration Therapy (ORT) corner and the employment of two Out-Patient Department (OPD) Service Assistants at the Angkor Hospital for Children (AHC)

• To provide a minimal fee healthcare service for children • To treat and reduce mild dehydration or diarrhoea • To educate mothers on the most appropriate treatment of diarrhoea at home • To build capacity of Cambodian nursing students on the proper administration of ORT (by employing of OPD Family Service Assistants)

Project Partners Angkor Hospital for Children (AHC)

• Oral Rehydration Therapy (ORT) corner • Employment of OPD Service Assistants • Raising awareness of symptoms and prevention of diarrhoea by improvising personal hygiene through additional support

Locations Siem Reap Province, Cambodia
Period June 2011 to May 2012

A total of 2, 142 children were treated from June 2011 to May 2012


Each year, thousands of Cambodian children die unnecessarily due to dehydration, which is often caused by diarrhoea. Diarrhoea is a common cause of death in developing countries and the second most common cause of infant mortality worldwide. Diarrhoea is easily prevented through immunisation, better nutrition and proper sanitation: along with Oral Rehydration Therapy (ORT), a process of replacing essential body fluids and salts lost during attacks of diarrhoea. The treatment consists of common salt and sugar mixed in one litre of clean drinking water. A pre-pack formula called ORS (Oral Rehydration Salts) is also available in sachets.


The project has been implemented from June 2011 to May 2012. It continues the original objective of MERCY Malaysia, to provide minimal fee healthcare services, especially for children in the province of Siem Reap. We have been working with AHC since 2005 to support an Oral Rehydration Therapy (ORT) ‘corner’ to treat mild dehydration under the supervision of trained staff. This ORT is a simple, cheap and effective treatment. Oral rehydration can be accomplished by frequently drinking small amounts of the treated water. Families of affected children are educated on the safe and appropriate use of ORS at home. They are taught how to recognise the symptoms of dehydration and diarrhoea and ways to prevent diarrhoea and improve personal hygiene, through educational brochures provided at the ORT ‘corner’. The employment of two OPD Family Service Assistants, working under the direct supervision of the Nursing Manager, ensures that there is enough support to complete the ORT work. They provide: 1. Assistance to doctors in examination rooms, retrieving medical records and transporting lab slips. 2. Monitoring of family education pamphlet boxes and educational videos. 3. Directions and escort assistance needed for lab, x-ray, dental clinic, tests and results etc. 4. Nurses provide families with information on ORT. 5. Housekeeping or cleaning when required. 6. Assistance in the dental clinic.