Their names are Nita, Chhea and Teurng

Courtesy: Angkor Hospital for Children
Courtesy: Angkor Hospital for Children

And these three young children in Cambodia survived thanks to donations from AstraZeneca and the Ptarmigan Foundation that funded and supplied an HPIC project to bring specially requested medicines to a pediatric hospital in Cambodia.

“When we developed this plan, we knew it would save the lives of children,” said Denis St-Amour, President of Health Partners International of Canada (HPIC). “Now we know the stories of three of the little patients.”

Angkor Hospital for Children in Siem Reap, Cambodia requested a donation of powerful antibiotic Merrem (meropenem) from Health Partners International of Canada last year. In September they received 1,500 doses of Merrem, a broad spectrum antibiotic that can treat a wide range of infections.

Around 500 kids visit the hospital every day and “many have undeveloped or compromised immune systems, leaving them vulnerable to infection.” More than 25,000 kids were treated at the hospital in the quarter the Merrem was delivered.

One of the kids who was saved is Teurng, a nine-year-old farmer’s daughter. She had always been a healthy child but got quite sick suddenly. Teurng’s symptoms included fever, shortness of breath and abdominal pain. “Her parents gave her fever reducing medicine thinking it would help her, but she continued to get worse,” stated the hospital report to HPIC.

Her mother decided at that point to take her to the emergency department at Angkor Hospital for Children in mid-January 2017. By then Teurng’s condition was severe and she was seen immediately. Lab results and x-rays determined that she had an infection and she was treated as an in-patient with a full course of Merrem.

Teurng stayed at the hospital for two weeks while the team managed and monitored her infection. The cause of the infection was never found but with access to care and treatment provided by HPIC through AstraZeneca and Ptarmigan, the little girl made a full recovery.

Chhea and Nita, two babies, also were saved by having access to Merrem treatment. Chhea’s parents now realize they could have lost their son and are extremely grateful: “If it wasn’t for the hospital, I could have been sitting here watching my son die in front of my eyes. This hospital provided my son a second chance at life.”