This is going to be a two week volunteer trip as a pediatric hematology/oncologist to work at Angkor Hospital for Children in Siem Reap, Cambodia. I was recruited by Health Volunteer Overseas and approved by the local hospital. HVO has partnered with the peds hem/onc group for years to establish a program. I will be one of the volunteers to help to maintain the program and expand the disease to leukemia.
Childhood cancer patient. The cure rate of children with leukemia has been improved dramatically to near 80% in developed countries. However, the cure rate of childhood cancer in Cambodia is far below. The group in Angkor Hospital just started to treat children with leukemia (the most common cancer in childhood). It will be helpful for me, an expert in childhood leukemia, to spend quality volunteer time in the local hospital to understand the conditions available so we can modify our treatment protocol to fit the local population/medical care, and to treat the physicians/nurses to take care of those children.
Help to establish the leukemia program, develop treatment protocol that matches the local population, train the local health care team to provide best service to the children with leukemia and other cancer.
This is a great experience. I worked at Angkor Hospital for Children in Cambodia as a pediatric hematology/oncology consultant. I participated in the teaching rounds, saw patients, helped to make the diagnosis, provide input in the chemotherapy treatment plan and established supportive care guidelines, gave lectures to the doctors there about pediatric hematology and oncology. The hospital started the hem/onc program a few years ago. Now they have about 70 children with newly diagnosed cancer every year. We can't treat every child yet. However, the program is expanding and we are doing more and more. I hope one day, we can treat every child with cancer in Cambodia, just like what we are doing in the US.