Cambodia Outreach Program

To extend trauma and orthopedic services to remote and underserved communities in Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia, the AO Alliance has developed a surgical outreach program providing fracture care to patients and empowering healthcare workers through hands-on training.

In 2022, the AO Alliance began its outreach efforts at the Baray-Santuk Referral Hospital in Kampong Thom, Cambodia, located approximately two hours away from the capital, Phnom Penh. Led by the Phnom Penh outreach team, local surgeons and nurses received training on operative and nonoperative fracture treatments through lectures and surgeries.

By the end of December 2023, the hospital recorded significant increases in the numbers of patients referred to the hospital, and patients admitted and treated.

“Before the cooperation with the AO Alliance, those kinds of fractures were sent back to the province health center or to Phnom Penh for treatment. With appropriate treatment and close monitoring, we can treat our people properly locally without them needing to travel. It is more affordable for the patients, and they feel more comfortable with our medical staff,” says Dr Tourphot Sin, AO Alliance Cambodia faculty.

Indeed, through the outreach program, referrals to the central hospital in Phnom Penh were reduced by almost two-thirds. With a modest budget of USD 7,500, this program stands as a testament to its remarkable efficiency and impact.

Among the success stories from the hospital, is that of Samnang*, a 44-year-old farmer who was injured in a road traffic accident resulting in a fractured forearm. Initially treated by a traditional bonesetter for three months, he later presented to the hospital with an unhealed fracture. Following surgery by Dr Bounna Huon, Samnang returned to work and made a full recovery. It was through the AO Alliance outreach program that Dr Bounna Huon acquired the skills to treat Samnang.

Caption: Dr Bounna Huon (left) and Samnang (right).

* Samnang’s name has been changed.