The Sonja Kill Foundation, a charitable foundation in Germany partnered with HOPE worldwide to manage a hospital in Kampot in the South of Cambodia to address health care needs with main focus on children and women. The hospital offers access for all patients independent from their ability to pay.
In April 2012, the Sonja Kill Memorial Hospital opened with only an Outpatient Department and started to train young medical professionals. In 2012, the hospital has provided close to 9,500 patient consultations, with over 70 % of consultations for women and children. Patients travel as far as five hours to seek care as they hear about the high quality of care provided. In April 2013, the Sonja Kill Memorial Hospital opened two inpatient wards to improve services for the patients. Besides the provision of international standard care, we train health care professionals to sustain the delivery of quality health care for future generations.
Cambodia is one of the poorest countries in South East Asia with a high rate of maternal mortality. Every year, over 2,000 women die from complications related to pregnancy and childbirth. Cambodia has also one of the highest under-5 and infant mortality (under 1) rates in the region. In 2010, the under-5 mortality was 51 per 1000, the infant mortality rate 43 per 1000. The annual number of under-5 deaths was 16,000 children, the highest figure in South East Asia. Most children die due to acute respiratory infections, diarrhea or Dengue fever. 22 out of 1000 newborns did not survive the first four weeks after birth. Twenty-five percent of deaths in the first four weeks after birth are due to low birth weight. Birth weight remains a major determinant of infant and child mortality. Malnutrition affects most Cambodian children, and 45 % show moderate or severe stunting.
The area around Kampot was one of the last strongholds of the Khmer Rouge who devastated the country in the 70s. The last pockets of Khmer Rouge were not extinguished until long after other parts of the country had peace in 1998. The health care system in Kampot and the neighboring provinces is plagued by lack of resources, especially trained medical professionals. Most doctors, nurses and technicians want to stay in the capital city where they find better job opportunities and schools for their children. Many patients do not access the public system but see local healers or travel 3 hours to Phnom Penh.