Home   >   Neighbor >   Content

87 Cambodian children now healthy after help from China-funded heart disease project

Updated:2021-01-25 17:23:00   CGTN

Eighty-seven recovered Cambodian children with congenital heart disease (CHD) have been saved by a China-funded medical project in the past three years, according to Chinese and Cambodian officials at an experience-sharing seminar on Friday.

Launched in January 2018, the project named China-Cambodia Love Heart Journey, sponsored by the National Health Commission of China and the Ministry of Health of Cambodia, aims to provide 150 Cambodian children who have CHD with free surgery or treatment at the Fuwai Yunnan Cardiovascular Hospital in southwest China's Yunnan Province.

So far, it has conducted CHD checks for more than 53,000 school children in 12 municipalities and provinces, and 87 recovered children have returned to Cambodia after receiving surgery and treatment in China, according to Chea Monyrith, the manager of the CHD project in Cambodia, whose team assisted the Chinese medical team in carrying out checks.

"According to a study, one out of 1,000 children in Cambodia has congenital heart disease," he said, adding the returned children are in "pretty good health now.”

Tou Tang, 14, who underwent heart disease surgery by Chinese doctors in 2019, said that the project brought him new life and hope.

"Now, I can play sports and have no shortness of breath like before," the ninth-grade student from Ratanakiri Province said. "I want to be a doctor in the future because the doctors helped me and I want to save other children when I grow up."

Pich Chanthy, Tou Tang's mother, said the project offered hope for her family.

"I'm very poor and the house I live with my son is as small as a bed," the single mother said. "Without China's help, I could not afford to send him for the surgery."

Tep Ngorn, second vice president of the Senate of Cambodia, thanked China for supporting the project at the seminar, saying that it was very important to save the lives of children with CHD from birth.

"On behalf of the Senate of Cambodia and myself, I'd like to express my profound gratitude to the Chinese government for paying attention to improving the well-being of Cambodian people, especially children with heart disease from birth," he said.

Saing Sophy, the mother of an eight-year-old girl who had CHD from birth and received surgery in 2019, said her daughter is now pretty healthy.

She said during her trip to China for her daughter's surgery, China had covered all of their expenses, including air tickets, food, accommodation and the surgery.

"This is a humanitarian gesture that Chinese doctors have left in my mind forever," she said. "If there was no aid from China, my daughter and the other 86 children would be unhealthy."

Sok Phang, head of the Children's Cardiac Ward at the Calmette Hospital in Phnom Penh, said the project has not only changed the lives of children with CHD, but also improved knowledge and expertise for Cambodian doctors in diagnosing and treating children with CHD.

Chinese Ambassador to Cambodia Wang Wentian said China is very pleased to see the smiles of these children again and hopes that they will also be valuable assets for the country when they grow up.

"I strongly believe that children with congenital heart disease, who have benefited from this project, will become the messengers of China-Cambodia friendship in the future," he said.

(With input from Xinhua) 

Keywords:   Cambodian children China