Peace + Pleasure on the Silk Sea

Sino-Asia Pacific’s Cambodia Health Campaign

Chinese and Cambodian Medical Peace Exchanges
Photo Credits: 
Christopher Cottrell

The second Bi-Annual Sino-Asia Pacific Medical Forum this past weekend in Macau launched a special Cambodia campaign.

On hand for the three days of medical training and MOU signing were two special guests from the Kingdom of Cambodia—her Excellency Yim Chhay Line, Honorary President of the Union of Youth Federations of Cambodia (UYFC), and the Honorable Sokkung Heng, Secretary of State, Ministry of Industry, Kingdom of Cambodia.

Yim Chhay Line is the wife of philanthropist and politician H.E. Hun Many, and daughter in-law of Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen. She is the daughter of Deputy Prime Minister H.E. Yim Chhay Ly and Chairman of the Council for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD).

She was joined in Macau with a delegation of Cambodian medical experts to participate in the forum at the Center for Skills Excellence at the Faculty of Health Sciences on the campus of the Macau University of Science and Technology (MUST)

Comments Yim Chhay Line, “I am really proud of our doctors for coming and getting extra training. It is such an honor to be invited by Dr. Manson Fok and Dr. Billy Chan to come to Macao, PRC. It is rewarding for my doctor team to explore Macau and see this exciting city. Here we are really impressed with all of this amazing medical equipment [at MUST]. This will inspire us when we get back home.”

Back in Cambodia, this entails conducting nationwide volunteer medical campaigns for public health. She notes, “We do charity work. We help poor people get free medical services and medicine. Our set up our team, two to four times a month around the country, depending on weather and schedules. All government healthcare providers do this. We take a team of 50 to 80 with at least 15 professional doctors. We divide up into 12 specialties, from general practitioners to dentists to minor surgery, to ultra sound to a mobile laboratory donated to us with the help of South Korea. We also have gotten support from Japan and European countries. Our team will assess, for example, if a small surgery can be done in the field. If not, we arrange for them to come to the capital of Phnom Penh and get the surgery free of charge.”

MUST, Macao, the Peking Medical University in Beijing, and the PRC’s National Healthcare and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC) are also now supporting this national medical relief campaign in Cambodia with an MOU signed over this past weekend.

Of this, she comments, “When my husband [Hun Many] designated me to sign the MOU here with doctors, I did not know I would go into the field and see the free services. But the more I work I did with them, and the more often I went with them, it makes me feel really good. I can’t complain about life seeing all those people they do not complain sit for 5 to 7 hours while waiting just for a checkup.”

She adds, “I will help to improve our medical alliance to be known internationally, to reward our teams of their hard work.”

International indeed. The Honorable Sokkung Heng, Secretary of State, Ministry of Industry, Kingdom of Cambodia is taking strides to strengthen this cooperation at the highest levels in Beijing. Comments Sokkung Heng, “This is a warm relationship with Cambodia and Macao China, and all of China. We have a long historical friendship, from our King Sihanouk to our Prime Minister Hun Sen with President Xi Jinping and Premier Le Keqiang. For this, we have signed an MOU with the Union of Youth Federations of Cambodia and Macau University of Science and Technology.”

He notes, “The MOU states the programs medical students of Cambodia and medical students in Macau can engage in. Macau students can go to Cambodia to practice with our doctors in the field helping our poor communities in remote areas of Cambodia. They can learn more about the diseases that they might have in the countryside that no longer exist in China. By doing so, they can write special reports and get their degrees. This is a win-win strategy of the MOU between Cambodia and Macau. “

He elaborates, saying, “We had important meetings with the PRC’s NHFPC, MUST, and Youth Federation. We have expressed great friendship for further cooperation for the next generations. Dr. Jiang Jianua of the Peking Medical University in Beijing discussed the willingness of his hospital and the NHFPC to help our Cambodian doctors alliance with students coming to Beijing or other parts of China to learn new technology that Cambodia needs. They will send Chinese students to study the real thing in Cambodia and support us with some scholarships or training for our doctors. This is good news for Cambodia that we can get support from China, especially from the NHFPC.”

Sokkung Heng remarks that Cambodia is also welcoming to Chinese investors coming. He says, “This is my first time to Macao, but I have been to China some 40 to 50 times. I have signed many free trade deals and always point out that we are members of ASEAN and U.N. families. When you invest in Cambodia, you are investing in the middle or the heart of ASEAN. Not just in our 15.4 million people, but with 630 million ASEAN members, and 324 million people in the Mekong Sub-region. We are not prone to earthquakes or tsunamis or typhoons, so are a great location. We are just two hours to Hong Kong, China, and are strategic for business and relaxing in our kingdom of wonder.”

The three day event also welcome diplomats from Australia, Belgium, Cambodia, Portugal, the Philippines, United Kingdom, and USA. Launched in November 2015, the bi-annual Sino-Asia Pacific Medical Forum is sponsored by the Faculty of Health Sciences at the Macau University of Science and Technology, and chaired by Dr. Manson Fok.

Dr. Billy Chan, vice-president of the forum, said to Yim Chhay Line and Sokkung Heng, “We welcome you back and thank you for both being here.”