Thanks to a generous Global Grant from The Rotary Foundation, our SSTC collaboration with the University of Puthisastra for the “Foundations of Adult Dysphagia Management” course will launch this October.
Dysphagia is a common and serious health issue that can lead to malnutrition, dehydration, aspiration pneumonia and reduced quality of life. According to the World Health Organization, dysphagia affects up to 22% of adults over 50 years old and up to 68% of stroke survivors. In Cambodia, there is a lack of trained professionals and specialized services to address this problem.
The one-year university program aims to fill this gap by providing high quality training and mentoring to the participants, who are doctors, nurses, and physiotherapists from two public hospitals and three top-rated private institutions. The participants will receive clinical supervision from internationally licensed speech pathologists with at least five years of dysphagia experience. The employers of the participants have pledged to support them during their one-year training and to provide ongoing and lasting dysphagia services for their patients.
Significantly, the Rotary Grant is covering the 2024 travel and living expenses for the six highly qualified international speech pathologists who will travel to Cambodia to supervise the Cambodian university trainees during their hospital clinical practicums. The Rotary Foundation is also funding two new interpreters who will work with the international speech pathologists.
The grant will cover university administrative expenses as well. Thanks to the grant, the course is being offered to trainees free of charge, a real boon to Cambodian medical professionals who do not earn large salaries. This has a big factor in attracting both trainees and hospitals to the course.
Beyond the costs covered by the Rotary Grant, SSTC is responsible for curriculum development for academic lectures and workshops, and for overall coordination with the participating hospitals and the University of Puthisastra.