Mekong Sante II

Today was the last day of Mekong Sante and I wanted to hear a presentation, “Surgical infections due to Gram negative bacteria with extended spectrum beta-lactamases”, from the surgical and microbiology departments at the Sihanouk Hospital Center of Hope. Alas for me, I had to sit through about three hours of papers on surgical techniques and outcomes before this paper was presented – the very last paper on the very last day of the Congress. This paper demonstrated the huge gap that exists in the laboratory capacity between this hospital in Phnom Penh which receives international support and the Cambodian government provincial hospitals, where generally speaking, laboratories are an afterthought. It was encouraging that one of the speakers conclusions was, “There is an urgent need to upgrade laboratories for microbiology and treat patients according to culture results as soon as possible”. Hooray for that. Now if all those surgeons would just advocate for the development of microbiology labs that can produce reliable results that they can use to appropriately to treat their surgical infections…

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