The Kantha Bopha group of hospitals is an effort to deliver health care to all Cambodian children. The organisation has five hospitals in the Kingdom and provides medical services to the community free of charge. The hospital takes care of about 85% of all sick children in Cambodia. Many seriously ill and hospitalised children would not survive without these hospitals.
Kantha Bopha Children’s Hospital Mission
The hospital believes that every child has a right to proper medication. The assistance of modern and fully functioning equipment achieves this, In addition, the hospital offers proper and effective medicine and enough disposable medical material. Medical care is freely available to all children. Kantha Bopha represents the only chance to get any medical care at all for most Cambodian children.
The hospital is a 24-hour operation that takes no money under the table from patients’ families. In addition, none of the staff has to rely on a second job outside the hospital in order to make a living.
The 2,500 Cambodian staff at Kantha Bopha earn a modest living on which they can get by. Paying staff a wage they can live on, the hospital has found a way of successfully fighting corruption.
Since 1994, Kantha Bopha has been a department of the Health Ministry. This is of great importance for the long-term continuation of Kantha Bopha. This includes its structure, the decent salaries for its 2,500 Cambodian employees and its policy of corruption-free, cost-free treatment for everyone
In 2017, 1,007 medical students completed their internship in the hospitals in the departments of paediatrics, surgery and obstetrics. The nursing college, affiliated with the Medical Faculty in Phnom Penh, sent 416 interns to the Kantha Bopha hospitals. Additionally, there are assistant medical technicians trained in laboratory and radiography.
The Kantha Bopha hospitals serve as a model for poorer countries. In addition, they ethically support justifiable family planning. Mothers in Cambodia know that when their child is seriously ill, they can take them to the Kantha Bopha hospitals for free. They no longer have to give birth to many children for fear of losing every second child. As a result, mothers giving birth in our care nowadays seldom have more than three children. Our maternity ward delivers approximately 79 births per day. Thanks to the outstanding obstetrics of our maternity care, only one mother dies in every 16,000 births.
Kantha Bopha is an unparalleled success story in the global health-care sector. Since 1992, the hospitals have treated 16.3 million sick children as outpatients. In addition, it has treated 1.9 million seriously ill and injured children. Furthermore, these children are fully cured.
Kantha Bopha Children’s Hospital Beginnings
In December 199, King Norodom Sihanouk and the Cambodian government asked founder Dr Richner to rebuild and manage the Kantha Bopha Children’s Hospital. The hospital had been destroyed during the civil war. In March 1992, he created a foundation in Zurich, moved to Phnom Penh and began with the reconstruction work. On November 2, 1992, Kantha Bopha Children’s Hospital was back in operation. Over the following years, the hospital was progressively extended and modified to meet the most urgent needs of its patients. Furthermore, Kantha Bopha is the name of King Sihanouk’s daughter, who died of leukemia in 1952 at the age of 3.
Alone against the System and the discrimination of the poor
The policy and strategy of WHO and many of its subordinate organisations concerning medicine in poor countries, such as in Cambodia, has resulted in thousands of deaths, thousands of invalids, and thousands of brain-damaged victims. This policy, which the hospital characterises as poor medicine for poor people in poor countries, is not only ineffective, it actively endangers, damages, and destroys thousands of lives. This policy amounts to passive genocide. These organisations have to assume responsibility and change policies and strategies to help these people.
Finally, there is little point 30 years on in complaining about the tragedy of today and the past 20 years. A situation caused by the mistaken policy of WHO. The challenge is for the international community to have the courage to recognise the cruelty and horror of the situation and act appropriately.
Maternity ward for HIV positive mothers
The hospital has built a maternity ward for HIV-positive mothers adjacent to the Jayavarman VII hospital in Siem Reap, Angkor. This includes a special program developed to prevent newborn babies from being infected with HIV by the mother.
Kantha Bopha has become a highly respected model for the entire Southeast Asian region. It has shown how efficient direct medical and humanitarian aid is in curative and preventive medicine as well as in research. Most of the funding comes from private individuals in Switzerland who have made spontaneous donations for Kantha Bopha.
Kantha Bopha Children’s Hospital Organisation
The Foundation, a Zurich-based organisation in Switzerland manage the five Kantha Bopha hospitals in Cambodia. It collects the money to finance the hospitals’ activities. The Foundation Board consists of senior Cambodian physicians who had worked with Dr Beat Richner since 1992 and by longstanding members from Switzerland who have supported the Foundation for many years.
For over 25 years, the hospitals have treated more than 15 million outpatients and 1.7 million seriously ill children as inpatients.
Today, more than 2,500 doctors, surgeons, midwives, nurses and cleaning staff work at the Kantha Bopha hospitals.
At Kantha Bopha Children’s Hospital you find both Cambodian Traditional Medicine and modern medications.