Takeo Eye Hospital

Ph. Nhim Dararith, Mr. Te, Dr. Manfred Morchen and Angelo Caon

The Takeo Eye Hospital is located on the outskirts of Takeo. This hospital was established in 1996 with a Memo of Understanding between Maryknoll, the Catholic Foreign Mission Society of America, and the Cambodian government. Today, this hospital cares for thousands of patients from all over the country. I have been to this hospital in the past on several occasions and learned that they were eager to have a microbiology lab in the nearby provincial hospital. I took Angelo Caon there to see the hospital and to meet Dr. Manfred Morchen, the German ophthalmologist working there. Dr. Manfred told us that he sees many patients with infected corneal ulcers especially around rice harvest time when small bits of rice fly into harvester’s eyes. He treats these patients for either bacterial or fungal infections without knowing the identification of the organism causing the infection. Patients often come to him late and after treating themselves with steroid drops from the local pharmacy. Putting steroids on a fungal infection is a bit like pouring gasoline on a fire. Now with the availability of a microbiology lab, Dr. Morchen will be able to begin to culture some of these infections to get an identification of the pathogens causing these infections.