Joanne Letchford, MPH
DMDP Country Director
Jo Letchford is a hospital laboratory scientist from Port Macquarie, Australia. Jo has a Bachelor of Science with a major in Microbiology from the University of Sydney and a Masters of Public Health with a major in Biosecurity and Disaster Preparedness from James Cook University, Townsville, Australia. Jo has more than 30-years’ experience in clinical diagnostic microbiology. Since 2009, Jo has lived and worked in Cambodia training government staff according to Dr Ellen Jo Baron’s visual flow charts, a sustainable approach to benchtop diagnostic microbiology. She first arrived in Cambodia as a ‘Volunteer for International Development from Australia’ (VIDA) with an assignment to build capacity in clinical microbiology diagnostic testing in Kampong Cham Provincial Hospital. After 18 months, Jo continued this work as a consultant for the World Health Organization and then DMDP in provincial and national hospital laboratories: Battambang, Takeo, Kampong Cham, Siem Reap Kampot and the National Pediatric Hospital and Preah Kossamak Hospital in Phnom Penh. In 2013, Jo begun working as the Chief Technical Officer for DMDP and added the position of Cambodia Country Director in 2016. In 2017, Jo was awarded the University of Sydney, Faculty of Science Alumni award for Service to Humanity.
Dr. Nikki Townell
Dr. Nikki Townell completed medical training at Manchester University, UK in 2004. She completed postgraduate training in both infectious diseases and clinical microbiology in Brisbane, Australia in 2015 and is recognised as a fellow of the Royal Australian College of Physicians and Royal College of Pathologists Australia. She has worked as a consultant at Mater Hospital Brisbane and Sunshine Coast University Hospital, Australia. For the past 6 years, she has undertaken voluntary and consultancy projects in the Pacific region, involving a number of organizations including World Health Organization and University of Papua New Guinea. Her activities in the Pacific region include microbiology capacity building in Solomon Islands, development of national antimicrobial guidelines for Marshall Islands, development of Pacific region antimicrobial guidelines for Orthopaedic surgeons, Surgical Site Infection workshops and Infection Control workshops in Fiji and Solomon Islands. Nikki joined DMDP as Clinical Team Lead in January 2019. She is working with Cambodian doctors and nurses to improve knowledge about microbiology and strengthen capacity in regards to diagnosis and management of infections.
Dr. Khim Gaëtan
Deputy Clinical Team Lead
Dr. Khim Gaetan is the Deputy Clinical Team Lead for DMDP. He graduated as a specialist in Internal Medicine from the University of Health Sciences in Phnom-Penh in 2013. He is also an Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) certified international medical graduate. He has worked for DMDP since 2016 working with physicians to improve microbiology laboratory utilization. Dr. Gaetan works at the patient bedside providing support to physicians, helping them interpret microbiology results to inform optimal patient management. Dr. Gaetan also has a significant teaching role for improving laboratory utilization and antimicrobial usage in the hospital. He and his team have conducted antimicrobial stewardship programs in Cambodian provincial hospitals to showcase the importance of data collection to physicians and hospital management for quality improvement. Dr. Gaetan teaches at the University of Health Sciences and has provided interactive lectures and simulation to the International Program since 2016. Dr. Gaetan has also provided support to melioidosis awareness both at the national and regional level through workshops, peer-reviewed publications and guideline implementation.
Dr. Oeng Sopheap
Deputy Science Officer
Dr. Oeng Sopheap graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and Engineering from the Royal University of Phnom Penh in 2009 and subsequently earned a diploma of doctor in specialized pharmacy (DES) from the University of Health Sciences in 2011. Sopheap has experience in production medicine in the pharmaceutical industry in Phnom Penh and was Deputy Laboratory Director of the clinical laboratory in Serey Saophoan Referral Hospital, Banteay Meanchey province. He started working with DMDP in 2013 as a Microbiology Laboratory Mentor providing training in the identification of medically important pathogens and antibiotic susceptibility testing using the Clinical Laboratory Standards Institute standards. He was promoted to Deputy Scientific Officer in 2015. In 2018 Sopheap received the honor of being appointed as the American of Society Microbiology’s Young Ambassador for Cambodia with duties including facilitating networking and professional development. Since July 2017, Sopheap had served as a Senior Advisor to the Central Media Making Laboratory and participated in the strengthening of the laboratory quality management system to attain ISO 9001:2015 certification.