Inauguration of Kantha Bopha IV

29.12.2005
Speech by Beat Richner
Majesty
Samdechs
Excellencies
Ladies and gentlemen
 
Today it is a happy day. This inauguration of Kantha Bopha IV is a milestone in the work by the Kantha Bopha Hospitals during the last 14 years time, it is a milestone in Cambodia's public health System for children too.
 
First: Without this new Hospital Kantha Bopha IV all the Hospitals Kantha Bopha I and II in Phnom Penh could no more function any longer. Two of the old buildings of Kantha Bopha I have to be evacuated immediately. And Kantha Bopha I as a Hospital is too small.
 
What does this mean? Kantha Bopha is hospitalizing 75 000 severely sick children per year , 40 000 in Phnom Penh, 35 000 in Siem Reap. And 80% of the hospitalized children have no chance to survive without the treatment they get in the Kantha Bopha Hospitals. Without this treatment they all get free of charge. The last 14 years we could reduce the mortality to 1,1%. The Kantha Bopha Hospitals are treating 85% of all Cambodian Children.
So now Kantha Bopha in Phnom Penh can continue to work and can continue to save these thousands of children.
 
Secondly it is a milestone in the health policy for the Cambodian children. The World Health Policy for the Poor World has failed. Look at this child. It was blind, we find a Tumor , we find this tumor of tuberculosis, this Tuberculoma. Tuberculosis is one of the war consequences Cambodia is still suffering from. This Tuberculoma causing blindness is a post war bullet in the brain. We were able to save this child, we were able to do a correct diagnosis and then a correct treatment. There are thousands and thousands of cases of Tuberculosis. All these thousands and thousands cases are needing correct facilities in order to be saved.
 
You need to apply the same standard of the diagnostic means to the child as would be used in Europe or in USA. Otherwise you miss the diagnosis. But this is against the dogma of the World Health Policy that claim the standard of technological equipment must correspond to the economic reality of the country. But the economic reality for 85% of Cambodians is very low.
 
The other dogma dominating the present World Health Policy for the poor world is the prevention. First of all it has to be a cheap prevention. But there is no vaccination against Tuberculosis. The BCG vaccination is useless. The BCG vaccination is dangerous. The most severe cases of Tuberculosis we find in children having got the vaccination. There is no prevention against TB. The focus must be on neutralization, that is, every infected person or every sick person must be treated, in order to stop the Endemia of Tuberculosis.
 
So you must treat the Tuberculosis as early as possible. Not to wait until the child is blind or has died. And the first sign of Tuberculosis, already reducing the immunity of the child, the Primary Complex, is only visible by the CT of the lungs.
 
That is why we installed in Kantha Bopha IV our third CT, the same model as installed in Singapore in the Elizabeth Hospital (Phillips).
 
40 % of our surgical operations ( in Phnom Penh 30 per day, in Siem Reap 20 per day), are cases of Tuberculosis. So the surgery too has an impact on the public health for children. That is why we installed in Kantha Bopha IV four modern theatres.
 
In February 2004 we could bye this land for 2.5 Millions USD. I asked a Million Swiss compatriots to contribute 20 Swiss Francs. (Aktion Zwaenzgernoetli). By this unique action we could get all this money (15 Millions). So the annual Budget of 16 Millions USD for the running costs was not in danger. On this occasion let me thank to all these Swiss compatriots, to all these thousands of private donators. On this occasion let me thank to the members of our Foundation, its President Dr. Loehrer, its Vice President Dr. Studer, Prof. Fanconi, one of the Pediatrics most famous name, and as representative of the Swiss people the Swiss Ambassador H.E. Erismann and the actual Olympia Gold Medal winner Marcel Fischer, he is soon a medical Doctor too.
200 000.00USD we got by His Majesty King Father Sihanouk and Her Majesty Queen Monineath in honor of H.R.H. Prince Narimrapong.
By the Director of the Swiss Cooperation for development H.E. Walter Fust, we heard the words: For this Hospital we do not pay a single stone. That is why you can see these wholes in the wall in the front of the building.
 
The Swiss government ( similar to other governments of the so called civilized world) is still believing in the failed and failing World Health Policy for the poor children in the poor world based on the dogma mentioned above. This policy is causing sufferance and sufferance and millions of fatalities. Still today this policy is practiced. But in the small Swiss town Geneva, where the luxury head quarter of WHO is installed, alone in the private sector there are 22 CTs! And here they tell you a CT is not appropriate, does not correspond to the economical reality of the country.
But times have changed! And when they do not immediately change their World Health Policy for the poor children in poor countries, there will never be a better future for these children, in African countries too. There is a HIV and Hepatitis crisis, not only in Cambodia. For surgery you need the correct high tech machines for sterilization of the materials. That's why we installed 4 High Tech Autoclaves. For the blood transfusions, so much needed for the thousands of Dengue cases in shock, for hundreds of Malaria cases in shock, for our 50 surgical operations per day , for bleeding mothers after and before our 40 deliveries per day…for these blood transfusions you need a laboratory of the same standard you use in Europe or in USA. Otherwise you get to be criminal and contaminate thousands. That is why we installed under the direction of Dr. Denis Laurent a modern sophisticated Laboratory.
 
Today, 16 months after the corner stone ceremony presided over by Samdech Hun Sen, we can present a complete and correctly equipped Hospital with 555 beds. It is the result of a wonderful teamwork. We tried to transfer the successful conception of Kantha Bopha III (Jayavarman VII) in Angkor to a building with three floors, together with Laurent Gross, Dr. Denis Laurent (Laboratories and Blood banc), Prof. Veasna (surgery). Ueli Salzmann and Rolf Grossenbacher made the design. Jean Marc Lopez was doing the construction. Thanks to this efficient cooperation we had to spend for all the new and big Hospital only 15 Millions USD, including the facilities.
 
By the initiative of Samdech Hun Sen we got a land by Mr Mobitel. That why we can connect in a further move Kantha Bopha I and Kantha Bopha IV. One building of Kantha Bopha I will continue to function, (station C 1 and C 2), two buildings must be restored. In order to reach the same quality in the New Born Care we now have got in Angkor, I hope we can later build a maternity. Since the fate of the newborn is determined by a correctly controlled pregnancy and delivery. And the delivery must be free of charge, otherwise 85% of Cambodian mothers have no access to. Then we could install the same successful and effective program to prevent the Newborn from the transmission of the HIV by the mother we installed in Angkor four years ago.
With this new building we have more space for vaccinations too: In the old prevention station and in the old outpatient station the vaccination JEV will be started in February .
Majesty, Samdechs, Excellencies and friends, thanks for joining this ceremony. Today it is a happy day.

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