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The Church of Jesus Christ Collaborates with Cambodian Government to Open Techo Sen Koh Thom Hospital

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On Wednesday, March 13, 2024, Elder Kelly R. Johnson of the Asia Area Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, joined Samdech Moha Borvor Thipadei Hun Manet, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia, and other dignitaries to inaugurate the new Techo Sen Koh Thom Hospital in Kandal Province about 50 kilometers (35 miles) south of Phnom Penh. The ceremony marked the culmination of one of the largest humanitarian projects ever undertaken by the Asia Area of the Church, a multi-year collaboration between the Church, the Cambodian government, and various stakeholders to expand access to quality healthcare to over 400,000 people in the region.

The state-of-the-art hospital, named in honor of former Prime Minister Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen, was established under the initiative of His Excellency Sun Chanthol, Deputy Prime Minister of Cambodia, with the cooperation of His Excellency Professor Chheang Ra, could and Calmette Hospital. The Church, through its Cambodia Health Improvement Effort (CHIE), has been a major contributor throughout the project’s development, with church humanitarian medical specialists collaborating with the hospital management team on the hospital design and providing funding for a wide variety of equipment for diagnostic imaging, laboratory analysis, rehabilitation, critical care, surgery, obstetrical and neonatal care, dentistry, and infection control.

Prior to the construction of the new hospital, the Church also played a significant role in renovating and equipping the nearby Porthi Reamea Health Center to serve as an interim facility. The bulk of the renovation cost was funded by the Church, enabling the center to provide essential care while the original hospital was being demolished and rebuilt.
In recognition of the Church’s significant contributions, Prime Minister Hun Manet presented Elder Johnson with a sash order medal during the ceremony. This honor underscores the value placed on the Church’s collaboration and its efforts to support the health and wellbeing of the Cambodian people.

Elder Johnson emphasized the global reach and impact of the Church’s humanitarian efforts, made possible by the generosity of its members. “Because of the generosity of members around the world, we’re able to take these resources and provide wonderful upgrades to medical facilities to bless the people,” he said.

The massive new facility spans nearly 130,000 square feet and includes 150 beds, advanced medical equipment, and modern technologies such as a Hospital Information System. It is poised to dramatically raise the standard of care available to over 400,000 residents of Koh Thom District and surrounding areas in Kandal and Takeo Provinces, who previously had to travel to Phnom Penh or distant provincial hospitals for treatment. The facility is Cambodia’s first newly constructed large public hospital in 20 years.

In his speech at the ceremony, Prime Minister Hun Manet praised the swift realization of the hospital project, stating, “The completion of Techo Sen Koh Thom Hospital is a remarkable achievement. When we first saw the plans, we anticipated it would take a decade to realize this vision. Yet, here we stand, just two years later, celebrating its inauguration.”

“Having surgical and maternity care available at Techo Sen Koh Thom Hospital will save lives,” Prime Minister Hun Manet emphasized. “Women in this region have been suffering from high maternal mortality rates due to the need to travel to Phnom Penh for care. Now, with this hospital’s services, we are responding to that need and improving access to critical healthcare.”

Following the inauguration ceremony, Dr. Keang Hong, the newly appointed Director of Techo Sen Koh Thom Hospital, expressed heartfelt appreciation for the support that made the hospital a reality. “On behalf of the people of Cambodia, the doctors, and the nurses at Techo Sen Koh Thom Hospital, I would like to express my gratitude to all the donors who helped sponsor the hospital with their physical, mental, and material support,” Dr. Hong said, emphasizing the collective effort that brought this transformative project to fruition.

The inauguration of Techo Sen Koh Thom Hospital represents a significant step forward for healthcare in Cambodia and speaks to the power of collaboration between the Church, government, and local stakeholders in addressing critical needs and serving the community. It also reflects the Church’s commitment to following the scriptural admonition to “remember in all things the poor and the needy, the sick and the afflicted” found in the book of Doctrine and Covenants chapter 52 verse 40.

The Techo Sen Koh Thom Hospital collaboration is part of the Church’s Cambodia Health Improvement Effort (CHIE), a new approach to improve health care and provide humanitarian aid for Cambodia’s poor. Working in collaboration with government and healthcare leaders, CHIE provides training, equipment, and construction projects. The program was initiated in 2018 by the Asia Area Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
This project’s completion is especially meaningful as it occurs during the 30th anniversary year of the Church being officially recognized in the Kingdom of Cambodia. The Church remains committed to serving and supporting the people of Cambodia through humanitarian efforts and spiritual outreach.
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