DMDP was pleased to learn that the US Ambassador to Cambodia, William A. Heidt, visited the diagnostic microbiology laboratory in the Battambang Provincial Referral Hospital. The microbiology laboratory in the hospital is one of the first implemented by DMDP in partnership with the Fondation Merieux. The Supervisor of the laboratory standing to the right of the Ambassador is Dr. Chiek Sivhour, who has completed a three year course in Medical Biology at the University of Health Sciences. Sivhour is a leader in diagnostic microbiology in Cambodia. Her laboratory is very active in research and training of students. Thank you, Ambassador Heidt for taking the time to visit this lab and motivate the staff.
DMDP is pleased to introduce the newest member of the team. Dr. Gaëtan Khim is a graduate of the University of Health Sciences in Phnom Penh. After graduating, he worked in a private clinic for three years. He will be working as a Clinical Mentor under the direction of Dr. Frances Daily. Dr. Gaëtan and Dr. Daily actively participated in a day of Continuing Medical Education at the Siem Reap Hospital this last week. Dr. Gaëtan speaks Khmer, English and French. He will be a real asset to the DMDP team.
Thirty-nine participants and mentors from Cambodian hospitals and organizations are attending a three day workshop, December 14-16, organized by DMDP and supported by the Cambodian Ministry of Health, the Institute of Tropical Medicine (ITM), the Fondation Merieux and the Sihanouk Hospital Center of Hope. Topics included “Old and Emerging Pathogens” by Dr. Ellen Jo Baron (DMDP), “Critical Results Reporting” facilitated by Dr. Frances Daily (DMDP) and Dr. Phe Thong (SHCH), and Quality Management” by Dr. Jan Jacobs (ITM). This important workshop helped strengthen the capacity of laboratory staff to reliably identify bacterial pathogens and perform antibiotic susceptibility testing using international standards.
Joanne Letchford, DMDP Chief Scientific Officer, and Ph. Oeng Sopheap, Deputy Scientific Officer, organized a two-day workshop on Antibiotic Susceptibility Testing on June 25-26 at the National Institute of Public Health in Phnom Penh. The workshop facilitators were DMDP and NAMRU2 staff. Thirty participants attended the workshop from diagnostic microbiology laboratories supported by DMDP, NAMRU2 and other government hospitals. Uch Monipheap at the Bureau of Medical Laboratory Services of the Ministry of Health provided logistical support.
The objectives of the workshop were to the introduce recommendations from the current CLSI Antibiotic Susceptibility testing standard and the DMDP AST guideline with an emphasis on the practical implementation of these documents in the Cambodian government microbiology laboratories. It included presentations and workbook exercises. Presentations were made by DMDP Staff Joanne Letchford, Ph. Oeng Sopheap, Em Rattanak and Morn Sineang.
This workshop and follow-up monitoring of implementation addresses two components within the National Policy and Strategy for Medical Laboratories 2015-2020 and the National Policy and Strategy for Combating Antimicrobial Resistance 2015-2017: Strengthening laboratory capacity and strengthening antimicrobial resistance surveillance.
Dr. Laurie Elder has passed away. Laurie went to Cambodia in 2012 and shared her great gift for teaching and her years of bench experience in diagnostic microbiology with Cambodian lab staff in Phnom Penh and Battambang. Laurie was eagerly planning to return to Cambodia again this year. And we were looking forward to a study she was planning on the impact on patient care in the hospitals with diagnostic microbiology labs DMDP supports. Sadly, that is not to be. We have lost a friend and a great clinical microbiologist way too early.
Laurie’s sister, Dr. Nancy Elder, writes, “Laurie was an esteemed teacher, researcher, laboratory clinician and IRB chair at Wright State University. She was also an Elder at Sugarcreek Presbyterian Church and vice-moderator of the Presbytery of the Miami Valley. She was a singer who never stopped, in choir, at home and even with her students (bugs and germs via original songs by Laurie). Most importantly, she was beloved of God, and she is now Home from her wandering“.