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Pediatric BASIC Course: Training Cambodian Medical Staff in Managing Critically Ill Children.

On the 12th to 14th June, Angkor Hospital for Children (AHC) conducted the 3-day Pediatric Basic Assessment and Support in Intensive Care (Pediatric BASIC) course for 17 doctors and nurses from AHC, the National Pediatric Hospital (NPH) in Phnom Penh and Sonja Kill Memorial Hospital (SKMH) in Kampot. This annual course was first brought to Angkor Hospital for Children in 2012 by Dr Suzi Nou, a Consultant Anaesthetist from Australia. It continues to be delivered annually by an international team of pediatric anaesthetists and intensivists. In keeping with AHC’s mission to build intellectual sustainability in the field of pediatric care, AHC is now in the second year of a 5-year plan to train Cambodian instructors to deliver the Pediatric BASIC course in Khmer, making it more accessible to external Cambodian health workers. We are grateful for international team’s efforts towards this goal.


The Pediatric BASIC course is for doctors and nurses who have already passed AHC’s Advanced Pediatric Life Support (APLS) course. It comprises didactic teaching and practical scenarios which focus on various aspects of managing critically ill children, from airway management to treatment of serious illness and the supportive management of children in intensive care. While APLS focuses on recognition and management of emergencies, the Pediatric BASIC course takes this further by looking at ongoing support and care of patients after initial resuscitation and stabilisation. Candidates are required to pass a written and practical examination at the end of the course.


Dr Leakhena, one of the course facilitators and Chief of Medical Education at AHC, says that the skills and knowledge taught on the Pediatric BASIC course can be instrumental in helping to fulfil AHC’s mission to improve health care for all of Cambodia’s children: “It is an honour to instruct Cambodian doctors and nurses on the importance of basic intensive care,” she says, “Our aim is to provide the knowledge and skills necessary to ensure a high standard of quality care, especially for pediatrics and neonates.”


Courses such as the Pediatric BASIC course help to further develop the skills of Cambodia’s medical professionals and ensure that they are equipped to treat seriously ill or injured children. Such courses require a great deal of preparation and coordination, both from AHC staff and the international team, and this work begins months in advance. We are grateful to all involved, particularly the international volunteers, for their hard work and dedication. Congratulations to all faculty and participants on another successful course and we look forward to welcoming Dr Suzi’s team back in 2018.

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