March 2021

Dear friends and partners,

 

Receiving two updates in one week from Nokor Tep Women’s Hospital is a bit of a record. My co-founders received a call from Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen a little over 24 hours ago asking that Nokor Tep Hospital be used as the Covid hospital for Cambodia. There has been a recent community spread of the virus, probably a variant strain as the spread is rapid. The first two deaths of the corona virus occurred in the past day, while no one died of the virus during the past year.

 

This past year, Cambodia has suffered smaller clusters of the virus, always brought in by someone coming from overseas. This past week, it has become community spread as 4 foreigners escaped from a Covid hotel and travelled to markets, restaurants and bars within the city. Despite the lockdown of the city, the virus is spreading at an alarming rate.

 

There are now several hundred people ill with the virus. They are being treated in various hotels and public hospitals throughout the city which is proving to be a difficult situation. Under the leadership of the Prime Minister, the Cambodian government started searching for an ideal location in which to keep and treat all persons with the virus. In that search they came to Nokor Tep Hospital.

 

The Prime Minister has assigned the task of running the Covid hospital to the military. Dr. Dara, who heads this military mission believed that Nokor Tep was the miracle hospital for it is large enough to accommodate 500 patients and can be easily isolated so that only medical personnel and Covid patients can enter the hospital. Nokor Tep is their miracle.

 

We have made an agreement with the Prime Minister and the Cambodian government to allow them to use Nokor Tep as their main Covid 19 hospital for as long as it is needed. All of our staff may volunteer to work within the military if they so wish to do so. It is volunteer in the sense that the staff choose whether or not to stay. If they stay they will be paid a full salary.

 

The transition has begun as the military bring in the 500 beds and accompanying needs for patients. The military medical team are delighted that operations and deliveries can occur if patients come suffering from an additional issue such as appendicitis or a woman may be pregnant and need to deliver her baby, as the hospital is already equipped to do so. After two weeks of transition, Nokor Tep staff, founders and top-level management may no longer enter the hospital grounds until the epidemic has ceased in order to contain the spread of the virus.

 

Once the epidemic is over, Nokor Tep will be handed back to us co-founders and we will resume normal operations as a hospital and as per our vision. The government and the Prime Minister have assured us that payment will be made for use of the hospital as well as immediately having all staff and founders receiving the very limited Covid vaccination.

 

Our vision to bring hope and care to Cambodians has moved to a higher level in a way none of us could have foreseen. Nokor Tep means the community of compassion to all people, regardless of status.  As Dr. Dara has told us, we have moved to a higher level of compassion, an unbelievable gift to the people of Cambodia.

 

For us as founders and top management of Nokor Tep Hospital our vision over the coming months is to ensure that we are ready to open our doors to everyone, full time when the hospital is handed back to us. In light of this, we will need to continue and increase our fund raising so that we are able to hire and train all who need to be trained for this happening.

 

I encourage all of you to participate in the Virtual Ridethon for Nokor Tep beginning March 15. Do register and join people world-wide for this event. In May a second virtual event will begin. I will send you the information at a later date.

 

I thank my God that Nokor Tep Hospital is now being used to alleviate and help so many who are suffering from the Covid pandemic. I thank my God that our vision of healing is now extended to all Cambodians who are suffering from the virus. I thank all of you who have been a part of this miracle, of this City of Compassion. It can’t get any better.

 

Janne

Stories of Cambodian Women

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