Health and Capacity Building Initiatives/Supply of Refrigerated Centrifuge and Incubator for Premature Babies for Angkor Hospital for Children (AHC)
Each year, thousands of Cambodian children continue to die from diarrheal diseases. MERCY Malaysia has been working with AHC since 2005 in setting up and supporting an ORT Corner to treat mild dehydration under the supervision of trained nursing staff. Oral Rehydration Solution (ORS) is a simple, cheap and effective treatment for mild dehydration or diarrhea – it can prevent 90% of child deaths from diarrheal dehydration. Oral rehydration can be accomplished by frequently drinking the recommended amount of oral rehydration salt solution.
One of the most common reasons why children come to the hospital is fever, usually caused by an infection. In order to help diagnose what kind of infection and how severely unwell the child is, the doctors rely on vital services of the laboratory department – which initially lacked proper equipment like centrifuge.
MERCY MALAYSIA’S EFFORTS
The project, which began in June 2010, continues to treat children with mild dehydration or diarrhea with oral salt solution. In addition, families are also educated on the safe and appropriate method of using ORS at home. ORS sachets were distributed to families/parents of the children.
In order to help medical staff diagnose infections a centrifuge was donated to the hospital. Tests carried out through the centrifuge include complete blood cell count, liver function, renal function, urea, albumin as well as specific tests to identify causes of infection. AHC also admit quite a number of premature babies. As such, MERCY Malaysia supplied the hospital with an incubator to house premature babies until they are strong enough to survive in the outside environment.
MERCY Malaysia also employed two OPD Family Service Assistants, working under the direct supervision of the nursing manager. It is part of an effort to build the skills of Cambodians. Since their employment in June 2010, the OPD Service Assistants have been able to take on more responsibilities like assisting dentists in basic dental duties.