… Again, I am glad to return to Kompong Thom after my previous trip to inaugurate a Buddhist Temple in the pagoda of Pannha Chi. As we are here today to inaugurate an achievement relating to health, I wish to express my deep thanks to HE Wiprech Von Treskov, former FRG Ambassador to Cambodia and who currently is working in the Dental Association of Germany (DAG), for the contribution he had made in the 1990’s in order that the hospital was built. The hospital is a symbol of collaboration by generous donors in the Federal Republic of Germany, the Royal Government and assistance given by non-Governmental organizations. As is reported in the report by HE Secretary of State Mam Bun Heng, the hospital complex contains a consultation room, emergency room, two building bloc for general medicines, laboratory, a management office, a meeting room, a delivery room, an operation room, post emergency care room, and laundry areas. They are indeed generous donation by DAG.
… Also inaugurated today, we have two more buildings built with loan from the World Bank and the Royal Government has provided a sum of US$ 108,775 as counterpart fund. The achievements that we inaugurate today together cost over US$ 400,000. I wish to take this opportunity to express my thanks to the generosity of donors from the FRG and I consider that Kompong Thom lies in the heart of FRG – both its Government and NGO. We have had three ambassadors from FRG so far and HE Wiprech Von Treskov was in Cambodia between 1991 and 1997. Up to the current Ambassador, we seem to have notice that Germany has made a strong focus in Kompong Thom and Kompot. I remembered that HE Minister of Cooperation from Germany who visited Cambodia in 2000 had also come here by engine boat to observe the flood situation and to see our people as well.
… I wish also to take this opportunity to express my sincere appreciation to the Ministry of Economy and Finance, the local authority, and all medical staff who are present here today for the contribution and efforts they made in improving the health service sectors, particularly in making the Kompong Thom hospital here a referral hospital for our people. This province used to be in the forefront in war time. Former Governors of the province used to request for weapons and now they no longer ask for them, but a hospital, medicine and modern equipments as we have no more war in our country. Some country has increased their defence budget under the plague of fighting against terrorism, but Cambodia will continue to reduce its defence and security budget, while increase of budget will be made on health and education. In the last few years, health sector has doubled its budget and is comparable to the pace of increment by education sector.
… I wish to have your attention that it is not what we aim for quality in health sector just to have a good hospital building, and equipments. What should be our focus is to help our people in preventing themselves from falling ill so that their calls on hospital would be infrequent. As of present death caused by traffic accident is higher than caused by mines unlike the time when HE former Ambassador was in Cambodia in the 1990s that we had a reversed data. I encourage our people to exercise attention and be careful while driving as any accidents happened would be a loss for all and the hospital would be busy as well. We have to sleep in mosquito nets, drink clean water and provide basic vaccination for all of our children. As of present, poliomyelitis has disappeared from Cambodia and we have officially celebrated its disappearance officially in 2001. But if we are not exercising vigilance, like parents not taking their children for vaccination, we might have the incidence of the disease taking its turn.
… I would reiterate my appeal that our people are vigilant in face of contagious diseases like HIV/AIDS as we do not have medicine that effectively cure it yet. In short we should try and contain dangerous diseases under control. We have not noticed SARS in Cambodia yet. In the ASEAN Summit and ASEAN + China Summit in Bangkok, Thailand, I have concluded that SARS has not come to Cambodia, and we should raise high our vigilance against its presence. Of course we have limited capacity but we have a strong will in taking action against possible spread of SARS into Cambodia.
… This Sunday I have a schedule to invite foreign diplomats, NGOs and other foreign entities to visit a development project in the western side of Phnom Penh. If what we have been doing proves to be efficient, I am sure we would have further assistance. The weather seems to be ready to downpour and that could be a sign that rainy season is approaching. According to forecast by the Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology since April, rain will come by middle of May and will finish by mid of October. So if it rains today it is not because Hun Sen’s presence but because the weather is ready for it. If I am that powerful we should build no water pump and canals. Well, any belief in that is just the cult of personality. So this Sunday we will see over 300 Kilometres canal and we will dig another 400 Kilometres and the benefit will be for cultivation areas in six districts of Kompong Speu and Kandal.
On that occasion Samdech Hun Sen offered three computers, one printer, six 14″ colour TVs, and six VCRs to Doctors and Staff of the Kompong Thom Referral Hospital.