Safe Surgery 2020 Officially Launches in Cambodia

Working alongside the Ministry of Health, Calmette Hospital, and the University of Health Sciences, Safe Surgery 2020 will expand access to safe, quality, and affordable surgical care in Cambodia

Today, Safe Surgery 2020 officially commenced in Cambodia. The commencement follows the announcement made during the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly in September 2018 to expand Safe Surgery 2020 into Southeast Asia, with the inclusion of Cambodia and Lao People’s Democratic Republic.

Over 120 participants from the country’s leading hospitals, and global health community were present at the opening ceremony of the Safe Surgery 2020 program in Phnom Penh.

“The launch of Safe Surgery 2020 is an important milestone for all of us concerned with improving the quality and accessibility of healthcare in Cambodia,” says H.E. Dr. Mam Bun Heng, Minister of Health, Cambodia. “Surgery is a critical part of an effective health system; therefore, we are pleased to introduce this program that will improve the foundations of the surgical system across the country.”

Safe Surgery 2020 was established in 2015 with the goal of reducing preventable deaths by accelerating access to safe surgery and anesthesia worldwide. Building on three years of successful implementation in Tanzania and Ethiopia, the commitment to improving surgical systems in Southeast Asia is critical as the region has one of the lowest levels of surgical provision in the world, with 97% of people currently unable to access safe surgical care.

Safe Surgery 2020 aims to improve surgical care through workforce development, and targeted innovations and equipment support. GE Foundation will collaborate with Calmette Hospital to develop a surgical training hub that will upskill the surgical teams through clinical and leadership trainings with a combination of in-person sessions and virtual mentorships.

“Today is an exciting day for all of us at Calmette Hospital. We are committed to ensuring that essential surgical care becomes safe and accessible for all, and our partnership with Safe Surgery 2020 is critical to achieving this vision,” says Prof. Chheang Ra, Director General of Calmette Hospital. “We are thrilled to be a working with Safe Surgery 2020 to build the future of surgery in Cambodia.”

Over the coming weeks, Safe Surgery 2020 partners will begin delivering a wide range of training programs focused on imparting critical skills related to surgical care, such as leadership and problem solving, data collection and evaluation, and equipment sterilization. The program will set up digital platforms to enable remote mentorship and transfer of clinical skills.

“GE believes that everyone, everywhere, should have access to safe surgical care if, and when, they need it. Through GE Foundation’s support of Safe Surgery 2020, we are pleased to have the opportunity to build and advance the capacity of Cambodian institutions to transform surgical care long into the future,” says Dararith Lim, Senior National Executive, GE Global Growth Organization, Cambodia.