November 2020

 Dear friends and partners,

 It is with pleasure that I write to all of you this morning – I’d like to share the progress being made in opening up our obstetrics, surgical and ICU units. It is so very exciting. Let me share just a few of the developments:

 Obstetrical units:

We have our delivery rooms prepared; we have shared maternity ward prepared plus we have private maternity rooms prepared.

 

 Our new Ambulance has arrived. Our surgical units are in process of being completed. Our oxygen and purified air systems are completed. How good that is!

 

 I want to share a story of one of our patients – a story that tells how important it is for us to be fully operational.

The story of 52 year-old Somala Kem*. On September 13th, 2019, Mrs. Kem* came to Nokor Tep Women’s Hospital for a gynecological health check-up with our partners Sustainable Health Empowerment (SHE). She had no medical complaints or pains but gladly joined her village group with the opportunity to receive a free medical check-up.

After her gynecological consultation and screening with our doctor, laboratory test results came back with an abnormal Pap-smear – a procedure to test for cervical cancer in women. Luckily for her, this abnormality in her cervix was detected early and was categorized as treatable. Less than a week later, our doctors performed a minor day surgery procedure which removed the targeted abnormal tissue from the cervix and requested Mrs. Kem* to return for a follow-up check-up 4 months later.

During her follow-up visit, results were not favorable and our team decided that Mrs. Kem* needed to have a more major surgery of her cervix and consequently transferred Mrs. Kem to our partner hospital, as Nokor Tep didn’t have its Surgery and In-Patient departments yet.

On July 10, 2020, six-months after her surgery, Mrs. Kem finally came to Nokor Tep Women’s Hospital for final follow-up and check-up. We are happy to say that she had no side effect from her surgery and that laboratory test results supported a successful treatment!  She was really happy and thanked our doctors for their care and for continuously following-up with her, especially during her stay at the partner hospital.

I am so thankful for each of you standing with us despite the horrors of the Covid pandemic. During this difficult time I ask that each of you would continue to stand with us as we move forward in our preparations to serve the women of Cambodia. Just a reminder of different ways to stand with us.

 

 It is the time of changing lifestyles the world over – a time thanksgiving despite the troubles – a time when I thank my God for my fellow founders; for the hospital management staff; for each of you who have made this all possible. How good that is!!

 Janne

 

To make donations: Please specify Nokor Tep Hospital and which gift you have chosen

CanadaThe link for Canada is https://tabitha.ca/donate-now/

UK The Link for the UK: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/charities/tabitha-cambodia

Australia – The Link for Australia: https://tabithaaustralia.org.au/donate-now/

USA – Currently Tabitha USA is unable to receive donations for Nokor Tep Women’s Hospital. We are looking for volunteers to assist us to set up a separate charity for the Nokor Tep Women’s Hospital. If you are interested please send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. In the meantime, for all Americans who would like to donate – please donate through Canada

 

 October 2020

 Dear friends and supporters,

 In the western countries of North America, October through December are months of thanksgiving – months when we look at our blessings and give thanks. This month I give special thanks for the developments at the Nokor Tep Women’s Hospital. With the onset of the Covid virus, Cambodia, like all nations, went through a trying time. The impact on the Nokor Tep Women’s Hospital was dramatic as the pandemic took hold of the people. Very few patients were willing to take a risk of going to a hospital. Initially, our response was also dramatic – we closed the laboratory, put our staff on half pay and took measures to protect the financial viability through a very trying three months.

 Those fearful months are past and we are moving forward. I am extremely thankful to the staff for standing with us - so very grateful that everyone is back on full pay. I am extremely thankful to the hospital management team for bearing through the tough time and re-opening the laboratory. I am extremely thankful for my co-founders, Phavi and Sieng for finding a kind benefactor to secure the immediate financial needs of the hospital.

 What does all this mean? It is with much pleasure and humbleness that I am able to share with each of you the opening of the maternity, surgical and ICU components – components that will enable Nokor Tep Hospital to be open 24/7. This will begin before the end of November.

 We have hired the necessary staff for this work to happen – from obstetricians, gynecologist, surgeons, anesthesiologist, nurses and support staff – sufficient to enable us to do our work fully.

Our units are almost fully outfitted – delivery, surgical and ICU units. The proper oxygen and gas lines are operational; ensuring clean, purified areas for specialized work. We have received the gift of an ambulance – a gift that will enable us to move our patients safely – a gift that will enable us to do outreach to villages in far flung areas. We have received and continue to receive life giving equipment from our Australian supporters – gifts that enable us to function well.

 We are so thankful to each of you who have made this possible through your financial, emotional, practical and spiritual support. None of this would have happened without you.

 

 The patients have returned and the numbers are growing. A partner organization called SHE have recently sponsored 100 poor women from outlying villages to come and be diagnosed and treated. How good is that! 

 

 We are aware that to grow and become fully sustainable, to do our vision of reaching out to all women, we still need your help. In this season of thanksgiving we would ask you to stand with us in the following ways:

 

 For those of you who would like to stand with us on an annual basis become an Executive Supporter:

It is the time of thanksgiving – a time when I thank my God for my fellow founders; for the hospital management staff; for each of you who have made this all possible. How good is that:

 Janne Ritskes

 

To make donations: Please specify Nokor Tep Hospital and which gift you have chosen

 CanadaThe link for Canada is  https://tabitha.ca/donate-now/

 UK – The Link for the UK: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/charities/tabitha-cambodia

 Australia – The Link for Australia: https://tabithaaustralia.org.au/donate-now/

 USA – Currently Tabitha USA is unable to receive donations for Nokor Tep Women’s Hospital. We are looking for volunteers to assist us to set up a separate charity for the Nokor Tep Women’s Hospital. If you are interested please send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. In the meantime, for all Americans who would like to donate – please donate through Canada 

 

 

 

Dear friends and partners,

 It's been a while since I have written. TheCOVID-19 virus has changed so much of my life and life at Nokor Tep Women’s Hospital. In late March I returned to Canada amid fears that I would contract the virus while in Cambodia with no secure medical care for the virus – a factor that my co-founders Phavi and Sieng found hard to live with. Since then much has happened in Cambodia and in the hospital.

 The virus has resulted in Cambodia closing its borders to all people for a number of months which has resulted in a low incidence of the virus in the country.  Instead the virus has resulted in a huge economic impact of the people – tourism and garment industries are deeply affected leaving an unemployment crisis as low as 60% in some areas to as high as 85% in other areas. The spendable income of people has dropped dramatically.

 The impact on the Nokor Tep Hospital is enormous. Our plans to open up our maternity and surgical units has been put on hold. We needed to close the laboratory temporarily as the cost of the reagents and staff far outstripped our payments for the services. We are currently using another lab until things return to normal. All of the staff are working on half pay as the ability for patients to pay has dropped drastically.

 Yet despite the doom and gloom – the hospital continues to serve those in need. Let me share the story of Ong Dany:

 

 

Ong Dany sits down next to us and starts her story: “Since I’ve grown old, my health has been getting weaker by the day, and I sometimes have no energy to even walk. I have been chronically ill for 3 to 4 years now, in and out of the hospitals, but with no improvements.” This unexplained, growing ‘physical weakness’ became so prominent in 2019 that she fainted, and due to her brittle bones, she broke the bones in one of her legs with the fall, thereby needing an urgent operation at a well-known hospital in Phnom Penh City.

“I continued to try to find a cure to my ‘physical weakness’ at that particular hospital, but despite my leg getting better, I was still increasingly physically fatigued. Seeing my deteriorating physical condition, my neighbor introduced me to a new hospital called Nokor Tep Women’s Hospital stating that maybe this hospital will be able to help me”.

On February 8, 2020 Ong Dany took her chance and came to Nokor Tep Women’s Hospital for the first time for a health check-up of her unexplained ‘physical weakness’. Our doctors listened to her complaints, did laboratory tests, gave her medicine to try for 3 days and requested her to return to see if the medicine was effective. Three days later, she “actually had returned better and more energetic” so she was given an extended treatment for a month, and a follow-up consultation in six months if all was well. Today, July 29, 2020 was her six-months follow up and she can finally say that she “feels much better – no more chronic pain, no more dizziness, and no more weakness” and is profoundly thankful to Nokor Tep Women’s Hospital for taking care of her and solving this mysterious physical problem that she carried with her throughout the last few years.

With the Coronavirus taking its toll on the Cambodian people financially – we have opened our doors to all who need us. Let me share the story of Chamreuon Meng:

 

A couple months ago, we had the visit of Mr. Chamroeun Meng*, limping and bleeding from one of his legs, hand in hand with his wife desperate for help. Chamroeun, aged 41 years old, lives very close to Nokor Tep Women’s Hospital and works at a nearby construction site. He had accidentally sawed his leg while cutting wood and had sought treatment from nearby clinics but was refused treatment multiple times due to the severity of the cut and his “perceived inability to pay” he said. By the time he reached us, his wound was deeply infected, filled with shards of wood and his skin was starting to rot with a strong smell. Our team quickly moved him to the Emergency Room and started to work on his wound cleaning and treatment. The wound was so deep and severe that the doctors required Chamroeun to return to the hospital every two days for a wound cleaning and to check the status of the wound. However, two days later, Chamroeun never came back, and on the third day we decided to call him to ask him why he didn’t return, to which he replied “I’m sorry, I am thankful to the doctors for their attention but I have no money to return to the hospital”.

Due to Chamroeun’s lack of financial means and the urgency to keep his wound clean and to avoid a bigger infection which could lead to amputation, Nokor Tep Women’s Hospital used the Solidarity Funds ( a specific fund set up to help those in need) to sponsor Chamroeun’s medical treatment.

Thanks to the Solidarity Fund, Chamroeun came very diligently every two days for his treatment. Sometimes he slowly limped for 20-30minutes to reach the hospital, and sometimes he managed to get a free motorbike ride from our team members…he truly was lacking financial means.

June 6th 2020, a month or so later, was his last appointment with our doctors, and we were very happy to see that his wound had completely healed. Chamroeun is very grateful to our hospital for not rejecting him, for caring for him and for providing him free medical care when he needed it but couldn’t afford it – he stated that he “is profoundly thankful to the doctors for their care and to the donors of the Solidarity Fund” for allowing him to treat and keep his leg.

I and my co-founders are so thankful to our God for being allowed the privilege of serving all who are in need of medical care. I am thankful to each of you, our supporters for your faithfulness to the Cambodia people who are hurting so much. In this difficult time, I pray that each of you may find it in your heart to support us yet again. As my staff say – stay well – stay safe. Thank you for being a part of Ong Dany and Chamreouns lives.

 

Janne Ritskes

Co-Founder

Nokor Tep Women’s Hospital Foundation

 

www.nokor-tep.net

Dear friends and partners,

 

Good morning to each of you. As life continues to be challenging during this Covid pandemic – Tabitha Canada Foundation decided to help out Tabitha Cambodia with a special fundraiser – it’s a Virtual Mission from Canada to Cambodia. How good this is!

Life in Cambodia is harsh as more than 60% have lost their jobs – there is no government social support to help our families. Tabitha Cambodia continues with savings, wells and schools – hoping that our other programs of house building and cottage industry will return in the year 2021.

Tabitha Canada has set a fundraising goal of $10,000 which will be matched dollar for dollar by a generous donor so the new goal is $20,000.00 – goal to walk is 13659 km of which over 1000 km have been achieved.

I personally have set a goal to raise $100,000 internationally by asking each of you to join us in this mission. I would like to see us walk to Cambodia and back. Tabitha Cambodia hearing of this mission decided to sign up – 40 of the staff, family and friends have begun the process. For many of you who have come – you know Heng, Apo, Thary, Sina and so many of our staff. How very good this is!

In order to facilitate the process for each of you – I ask that you make an initial donation through Tabitha Canada – see instructions below – after that please send donations through your local foundations. Come and Join us!

I thank my God for Tabitha Canada and their unfailing support – I thank my God for each of our foundations – people who volunteer their time and effort on behalf of the people in Cambodia. I thank my God for all our staff in Cambodia – their willingness to work hard and unfailingly doing this difficult time. I thank my God for each of you who have stood with us and continue to stand with us. How good that is!!

Janne Ritskes

 

Website:                               www.tabitha-cambodia.org

Like us on Facebook:          Tabitha-Foundation-Cambodia

Tabitha Canada:                  https://tabitha.ca/

Tabitha Australia:                 https://tabithaaustralia.org.au/

Tabitha USA:                        https://www.tabithausa.org/

Tabitha Singapore:               http://www.tabithasingapore.com/

 Tabitha UK:                         https://www.tabitha-cambodia.org.uk/

 

Dear friends and partners,

 

It’s a bright sunny morning – the kind of morning that lifts the soul. It’s the kind of morning where the problems of the coronavirus seem to be far away – and a person can forget for a moment the pain in the world around us. It reminds me of the beauty that surrounds those who live in poverty – poverty that pulls at the soul and urges people to quit – to give up – to stop dreaming.

 Mother’s Day is a few weeks away and I think of the beauty of being a mum – the beauty of having a child – the renewal of life and its possibilities when holding that child – the problems of the world that child will live in seems so very far away. For these mums who live in poverty – each child brings a renewal of hope – perhaps this child will grow to maturity – will get schooling – will get a good job – will live a better life.

 As the Nokor Tep Women’s hospital struggles through this pandemic with all staff receiving half pay – with our dreams of opening our obstetrics and surgical units being slowly put on hold – the clouds slowly creep across the warming rays of sunshine.

 Yet there is hope –  We continue to serve women who have early stage cervical cancer - removing the cancer - adding life to a woman. We continue to comfort women who have spontaneous abortions that are uncompleted and cause infections. We work with women who suffer from various women's complaints - complaints that cause shame and hurt - women who deserve to be heard and treated. How blessed we are.

 Please consider a donation at this time, honoring the mothers in your life.  For every $30 USD raised, a woman will have the opportunity to be seen and heard, diagnosed and treated. It is a gift of life. I thank my God for each of you - all of you who stand with the women of Cambodia. 

 

 Janne Ritskes

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No. 109 Path Road, Prey Sor East Village, Prey Sor Commune, Dangkor District, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

  • Tel: 023 231 590/ 023 231 596/ 081 231 590/ 088 279 5050

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