“If you suddenly cannot see, it is as if your whole life is gone.”
Caring for a child with an eye injury changed the track of Dr Sokunthea’s medical career.
After graduating from International University in Phnom Penh, Dr Ly Sokunthea began a fellowship at AHC in 2021, rotating between inpatient, outpatient, intensive care and neonatal units. While working in intensive care, she cared for a young girl with a critical eye injury. Her team helped her see again.
“That was the moment I knew I wanted to go into ophthalmology,” remembers Dr Sokunthea. “I think eyes are the most important part of the human body. If you suddenly cannot see, it is as if your whole life is gone.”
Dr Sokunthea began to observe the happenings at AHC’s Eye Clinic from a close distance, dreaming to work there one day. Her dream came true after she completed her fellowship and became a resident at the eye clinic a few months ago.
AHC’s Eye Clinic is one of the most in-demand units at AHC, visited by 40-50 patients a day. Dr Khauv Phara, AHC’s Chief of Eye Clinic is one of a few paediatric ophthalmologists in Cambodia with extensive education and experience from Vietnam, Australia and the USA. Families from all over the country come to AHC to see him.
Under Dr Phara’s daily guidance and mentorship, Dr Sokunthea assists with his work and currently sees patients with refractive and minor injuries. She is also planning exchange programmes with partner health facilities in Cambodia.
“The past few months at the Eye Clinic have been so rewarding,” shared Dr Sokunthea. “I am the happiest when I get to put on scrubs and perform minor eye operations for children and help fix a precious part of their bodies.”
Dr Sokunthea’s speciality training programme will last for three years. With Dr Phara as her mentor, AHC and Cambodia will soon have another talented ophthalmologist saving sight of Cambodia’s children.
Ways You Can Help
Ongoing support from donors and volunteers allows us to continue to deliver high quality medical care to children affected by disease and poverty in Cambodia.