Our program officially began in January-February, 2014, at the Khmer Soviet Friendship Hospital, Department of Neurology in Phnom Penh. For two months, we trained two neurologists, a general medicine MD, and one physical therapist in the basics of swallowing evaluation and therapy. Patients were for the most part stroke survivors. This was the first training program of its kind in Cambodia. Follow-up trainings for this group have been conducted ever since.
In 2015 we began a program at a second Phnom Penh hospital, Calmette Hospital, where we trained nine physical therapists in swallowing evaluation and therapy. This program is ongoing, and will include training in speech and language therapy.
In 2016, we started a program for children with cerebral palsy at the National Pediatric Hospital, run at first by one volunteer and taken over by other volunteers later in the year. The PTs being trained are also working with a volunteer OT from Brazil, and he and Elizabeth are in discussions about how to work together on closely related skills. SLPs from private Phnom Penh clinic, Indigo, have been volunteering in this program, and Indigo and STC are talking about combining volunteer forces.
In 2016, we began two additional programs for the adult population at the new Sihanouk Geriatric Center and at Kossamak Hospital, both in Phnom Penh. Four PTs were trained at Sihanouk Geriatric Center, and two RNs and two PTs were trained at Kossamak Hospital. In 2016, we also offered our first FEES course for seven of our trainees (see OUR PROJECTS for details.)
In 2017, we will teach eight to ten more trainees from Sihanouk Geriatric Center and from Kossamak Hospital. By mid 2017, we hope to have 35-40 medical professionals trained in basic dysphagia evaluation and treatment.
These professionals are already leading the way for their peers, independently performing evaluations, teaching staff how to perform swallow screenings, lecturing at workshops and for the university dysphagia course which we are in charge of organizing (see OUR PROJECTS for details).
Our FEES trainees will increase as well in 2017—from seven to fifteen!
None of this would be possible without another team—our wonderful volunteers. About 14 skilled SLPs in all have volunteered since 2014, or will volunteer in the year to come! (please read about our volunteers below.)
Most of all, we would like to express our appreciation to Ms. Phivan Norng, our new Country Director (read about Phivan below.) Sincere thanks to everyone.
Phivan Norng, Cambodia Country Director
Ms. Phivan Norng has become the Country Director of our new Cambodian organization. We were very excited in 2015 to find Phivan, who is an extraordinary interpreter-translator and woman of all trades. Phivan is at our side for each and every training and workshop doing simultaneous interpreting. She is also translating a multitude of documents and teaching materials into Khmer.
Phivan studies speech pathology techniques and theory with the trainees. Now she has added many duties as Country Director—liaising with the Cambodian Ministry of the Interior, meeting with hospital directors, coordinating communications and meetings between the Cambodian organization and our US organization, orienting new volunteers, administrative tasks, and much, much more. Kudos to Phivan!
How you can help
We are looking for experienced SLPs who have worked in Southeast Asia or other developing/ majority nations, or who have traveled extensively in these countries. Come to Cambodia and teach with us!
IT and social media skills are also needed to help with our website, Twitter, and Facebook.
Like us on Facebook; connect with us on Twitter and on other social media. Spread the word! Let your friends know about our work.
Connect us with organizations or people who might be able to further our mission, including major donors or foundations.
As a 501(c)(3) we rely on donations from people like you to support our mission in Cambodia. If you would like to make a tax deductible donation today please click the link, or visit our page on Razoo.com.