News Release

Ceremonies Mark Completion of the Hun Sen Steung Trang District Referral Hospital Cleanliness Initiative

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Hun Sen Steung Trang District Referral Hospital complex at completion ceremony2021 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

Hundreds of provincial and district leaders gathered with local residents on February 16, 2021 to celebrate the historic completion of a major improvement project at the Hun Sen Steung Trang District referral Hospital. During the ceremonies, His Excellency, UnChanda, the Kampong Cham Provincial Governor commented on the remarkable transformation:

“We thank all who have worked so hard to make the improvements to this hospital. It is now well equipped and staffed. The change is remarkable, the hospital is really beautiful. It is a place where patients can come and find it clean. This is a good example of cleanliness. We are grateful for the support of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Charities. They are helping us with the long view for further improvements, here, and elsewhere.”

This hospital serves as the only hospital for approximately 100,00 residents of the Steung Trang District, most of whom are very poor. This district, which is the homeland of Cambodia’s Prime Minister, is about 3.5 hours from Phnom Penh, Cambodia’s capital city.

This project was a collaboration of the Association of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, working through the Cambodia Health Improvement Effort (CHIE), with leaders from Kampong Cham Province, Steung Trang District and the Hun Sen Steung Trang District Referral hospital.

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Elder Steven and Sister Vickie Lewis2021 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

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Elder Lewis meets with leaders to assess hospital needs2021 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

The project was initiated in the Fall of 2019 when CHIE senior missionaries, Elder Steven and Sister Vickie Lewis, met with district leaders to review the needs of the hospital complex. Shortly after the initial meetings, the first engineer visited the site in November, 2019. 

The Need for Improvements

During the assessment of the hospital’s needs, the overall cleanliness of the facility was identified as a major need for improvement. An initial area of focus was determining what to do to eliminate the mud and dust problems at the hospital complex.

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Dust and water pooling in front of hospital prior to improvements2021 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.


 

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Dust and water pooling in front of hospital prior to improvements2021 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

During the rainy season, the water did not drain well and left large, muddy pools. Mud was tracked into the hospital by anyone entering. In addition, the pooled water was a breeding ground for mosquitoes. During the dry season, the dirt in front of the hospital was picked up by the wind and filled the entire complex with a layer of dust.
 

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Muddy conditions in front of hospital prior to improvements2021 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

Additional needs identified included improvements to the patient wards which needed to be cleaned and repainted. The hospital was only equipped with metal and wood slat beds. The beds have no mattresses and are impossible to clean. Also, the rooms lacked proper

bathroom facilities. Patients were required to leave the patient room and walk down a long corridor that led to an outdoor bathroom. Upgraded patient beds and care equipment were also needed.

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Patient ward rooms with metal and wooden slat beds and need for cleaning2021 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Patient ward rooms with metal and wooden slat beds and need for cleaning2021 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

Unsanitary conditions were also noted in aging sinks and medical equipment that had not been properly sanitized. There was a significant need for upgraded sink facilities and storage carts in the Emergency Department.

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Dirty sinks and need for equipment storage and improved sanitation2021 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Dirty sinks and need for equipment storage and improved sanitation2021 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

At certain times of the year, mainly during the rainy season, many of the beds line the corridor and are filled with patients suffering from mosquito born illnesses, such as Dengue fever and Malaria. The corridor is open to the outside and patients are exposed to mosquitoes that breed in the pooled water, only meters away, at the front of the hospital.

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Outside corridor during the rainy season2021 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Outside corridor during the rainy season2021 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

Approval for the Plan

A plan for improvement was presented by CHIE senior missionaries, to His Excellency, Un Chanda, the Kampong Cham Governor and his staff, at a meeting in December, 2019. The governor was enthusiastic about the proposed project and encouraged the involvement of Dr. Kimsour Phirun, the provincial Director of the department of Health and Mr. Srey Sopeak, the provincial Director of the department of Cults and Religion.

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Church leaders meet with His Excellency, UnChanda, Kampong Cham Governor and Provincial leaders in December, 2019 to discuss proposed plans for Hun Sen Steung Trang District Referral Hospital improvements2021 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

The governor stated that he wanted to see this hospital become a new standard for all other hospitals in the province. He expressed appreciation for the Association of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Cambodia Health Improvement Effort and their desire to provide sustained efforts towards the improvement of healthcare for the poor and needy in the province.
 

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Samnang Sea and Elder Peter F. Meurs talk with Kampong Cham Provincial Governor UnChanda as Elder Robert Taylor looks on2021 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Church and Kampong Cham Provincial leaders at December, 2019 meeting 2021 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

LDS Charities approved funding for the project in May of 2020. However, approval was conditioned upon the return of the senior CHIE missionary couples to Cambodia. All of the senior missionaries in Cambodia had been sent home in late February due to the pandemic.
 


The Improvement Project

Elder and Sister Lewis returned to Cambodia in early August, 2020 to resume their mission. As soon as they completed their mandatory 14-day quarantine, they began efforts to secure a contract for the work. The work on the project formally began at the end of August, 2020.

The project to make the improvements to Hun Sen Steung Trang district referral Hospital was guided by a comprehensive plan that involved five major phases. All work was completed by the end of December, 2020.

Phase 1: Patient Bathrooms. The first phase addressed the lack of bathroom facilities in the patient wards. Each of the patient wards received a new bathroom. Each now has a Men’s and Women’s suite, with a handwashing sink, a toilet and a shower.

  

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Back of hospital view of construction of new patient bathroom and shower facilities2021 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.
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New faucet in the bathroom2021 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Entrance to new bathroom2021 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.
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New patient toilet facilities2021 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

  

Phase 2:  Rain and Surface Water Drainage.  This phase included a complete regrading of the front hospital property and an upgrade to the rainwater management system. The drainage system includes concrete lined drainage ditches, a series of French drains, and multiple access points that will drain excess surface water from the hospital ground. This will help alleviate the mud that enters the hospital and eliminate the standing water that breeds mosquitoes.

  

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Beginning work to regrade the front of the hospital to improve drainage2021 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Installing drainage piping2021 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Work to improve drainage in front of the hospital2021 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

  

Phase 3: Concrete Entry Roads. The third phase addressed the need for proper driveways and entry roads. Reinforced concrete driveways were constructed. All of the hospital buildings are now accessed without the need to drive through dirt or mud. In addition, the ground has been covered with crushed rock to eliminate any mud or dust. All of this helps keep the hospital clean and enables better access for ambulances.

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New roads, driveway, and ground covering for front of the hospital2021 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Laying reinforced concrete for driveway and parking2021 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Preparing driveway for improvements2021 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

Phase 4: Painting Interior and Exterior. The hospital building received a fresh coat of paint for both the exterior and the interior. This included cleaning off the old paint and dirt and mold before applying a protective coat and finish color coats.

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Dust and water pooling in front of hospital prior to improvements2021 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Cleaning and painting hospital exterior2021 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Phase 5: Upgraded Beds, Equipment, and Hospital Personnel Training. With all else completed, the final step for the improvement project was providing new patient beds and upgraded equipment. The new equipment includes monitoring equipment, supply storage equipment, and new ultrasound technology. The final step is providing the hospital staff with training on equipment use, cleanliness and improved clinical techniques.

  

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New hospital beds2021 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.
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New cabinets for medical equipment2021 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Newly refurbished patient ward2021 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.
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New Ultrasound equipment2021 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

  

  

  

The Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

February 16, 2021 marked the formal completion of the project. Talks were offered by Kampong Cham Provincial Governor, His Excellency, UnChanda and by Elder Steven Lewis and Elder Robert Taylor, both CHIE senior missionaries living and serving in Kampong Cham province. During His remarks, Elder Lewis provided perspective on the project:

“All of the changes that have been made here are very good. But this is much more. This is a place where patients can come and it is clean. In 1996, this was a new hospital. Now, in 2021, it is new again. There are good doctors and nurses here. Sister Lewis and I are honored to be here with you. We feel a great love for you and for your great leadership.”

When all of the speeches were finished, a formal ribbon-cutting ceremony was held to mark the opening of the newly renovated hospital.

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Ceremonies commemorate the completion of improvements to the Hun Sen Steung Trang District Referral Hospital in Kampong Cham Province, Cambodia on February 16, 20212021 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Ceremonies commemorate the completion of improvements to the Hun Sen Steung Trang District Referral Hospital in Kampong Cham Province, Cambodia on February 16, 20212021 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.
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His Excellency, UnChanda, Governor of Kampong Cham Province, looks on as Mr. Srey Sopeak, Provincial Director of Cults and Religion, assists in cutting the ribbon at Hun Sen Steung Trang District Referral Hospital2021 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Elder Steven Lewis shows new hospital equipment to His Excellency, UnChanda, Kampong Cham Provincial Governor and Dr. Kimsour Phirun, the Provincial Director of the department of Health at Hun Sen Steung Trang District Referral Hospital2021 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

As a result of the Church’s assistance, a wonderful and unexpected additional improvement to the hospital will now be completed. A private businessman attended the completion ceremony at the Hun Sen Steung Trang District Referral Hospital. He observed the transformation and was very impressed by what has occurred at the hospital. Near the conclusion of the ceremonies, he announced that he would donate funds to upgrade the fence around the entire hospital complex and to pave the (now dirt) roadways that lead to the hospital entrances. These additional measures will serve to further decrease the dirt and mud entering the hospital grounds.

With the completion of the hospital grounds improvements and the hospital building refurbishment, Elder and Sister Lewis continue to work with the hospital team. The next steps will include training the staff on hospital cleanliness, infection prevention, equipment cleaning, and instrument sterilization.

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