Mission: The Children's Surgical Centre aims to improve the quality of life for disabled, poor Cambodians by providing rehabilitation surgery and general rehabilitation programs. Integral to this mission is a program of training local surgeons and health workers, focusing on the development of sustainable health services for Cambodians.
Around 500 million, or 12% of the world's population suffer from disability. Disabilities bring misery, reduce economic status, destroy social integration and cause untold suffering through stigmatization and marginalization from society.
In the last 30 years international agencies have made great efforts to assist with health-care in developing countries focusing on the principles of 'primary health care'; e.g. sanitation, clean water, Maternal Child Health (MCH), developed at the conference of Alma Ata in 1978. Surgery has been considerably under-emphasized as 'too sophisticated and expensive' for widespread impact.
CSC demonstrates the huge benefits of simple, safe, rehabilitation surgery to developing countries by organising treatment and training programs. CSC is one of few organisations promoting this doctrine, and almost alone in practicing it.
Results: In 2011 alone, CSC performed 3,567 surgical procedures and 11,840 consultations. In 2012, after the completion of our building extension, we anticipate seeing even more patients and providing even more rehabilitative surgeries and care.
Many of Cambodia’s poorest disabled people have received free surgery enabling them to greatly improve their standard of living. In Cambodia, disabled people experience discrimination due to their physical appearance as well as their perceived mental capacity. If a person is not able to contribute to the wellbeing and livelihood of their family they are looked down upon and neglected.
Patients who receive surgery at CSC are able to lead more normal lives, affecting not only themselves but their families too.
Geographic areas served: Cambodia
Programs: We are a surgical centre that provides rehabilitation surgery. Additionally, we have programs that focus on surgery for obstetric fistulae, meningoencephalocele (MECs), cleft lip and palate, general ophthalmology, hip and spine, and burn victims.
I worked at the Children's Surgical Centre doing social media and helping out wherever I could. It is a very special hospital, and the difference they make in the lives of poor Cambodian's is inspirational. The patients that come in have a wide variety of unusual medical conditions, and most have had debilitating conditions that they have lived with for years until they hear of the CSC. The Children's Surgical Centre gives free life changing surgery to deserving people that otherwise would have to live with their disabilities and misfortune. It is a very important hospital that thousands of poor Cambodians count on. The Children's Surgical Centre is also a teaching hospital of Khmer surgeons and staff. Surgeons from around the world come and train the surgeons and teach them new techniques. I would argue that the surgeons here at the CSC are some of the best in Cambodia, they are very talented and humble. I really enjoyed going into work every day, and I learned a lot. All the staff are very welcoming and warm, and Dr. Jim and wife Kanya made me feel at home and part of the team. The Children's Surgical Centre is run very efficiently and with a low overhead compared to other NGOs. I will definitely return and continue to support the Children's Surgical Centre. Check out www.helpcambodianchildren.com to see patient stories, as well as visiting surgeons, medical students, as well as my personal experiences here.