About NUHS

Chenla Children's Healthcare


The goal of the Chenla Children's Healthcare is to deliver holistic care and clinical outreach to surrounding communities by providing patient services to children in need, improving the infrastructure and health systems of the province, and improve health worker education in eastern Cambodia. Chenla works alongside the local government, and operates as part of the provincial hospital rather than as a parallel structure, thus ensuring long-term sustainability.

The Chenla Children's Healthcare is a paediatric hospital located inside of Kratie Provincial Hospital, a government-run facility in eastern Cambodia. Almost all of the staff are Cambodians who provide both inpatient and outpatient services including a Neonatal and Paediatric ICU. The staff also coordinate medical outreach activities to the eastern (and poorest) part of Cambodia.

mapImage taken from Google Maps

Since 2017, doctors from the Departments of Paediatric Medicine and Neonatology of the Khoo Teck Puat - National University Children’s Medical Institute (KTP-NUCMI) have been going to Chenla Children’s Healthcare to partner with local doctors and provide care for the children of Kratie province. The Chenla Children’s Healthcare has just rebuilt a paediatric centre in rural Kratie which carries the largest paediatric healthcare challenges in Cambodia.

Chenla Children’s Healthcare

Dr William Housworth, who leads the efforts at the centre, had previously worked with the NUH Department of Neonatology to implement the Neonatology Service. With the success of previous collaborations, NUH has been asked to take an active role in similar capacity building and service provision to the very young paediatric centre.

Chenla Children’s Healthcare

Professor Roy Joseph, one of KTP-NUCMI’s most senior doctors, was one of the first NUH doctors to visit Chenla, braving the six-hour car ride on dirt roads to arrive in Kratie. KTP-NUCMI volunteers held a weekend workshop for doctors, nurses and healthcare assistants from the province and surrounding villages. The neonatal needs are great as the hospital sees approximately 60 neonatal admissions in a month. This remains an area for large potential influence. According to published statistics, 1 in 24 children in eastern Cambodia die before their 5th birthday, mostly from preventable to treatable causes. 

How you can make a difference

Chenla Children's Healthcare
Chenla Children's Healthcare

Since the trips to Chenla have been regular, the friendships forged have grown over the years, which further reinforces the strength and length of our impact. We hope to continue to support the children in Chenla through our regular visits and continue to help provide patient services to children in need.

Your generous support for the mission will go a long way to make a difference to Chenla Children’s Healthcare. Please contact [email protected] for more information. 


Chenla Children’s Healthcare
Chenla Children’s Healthcare

The Paediatricians’ and residents’ activities in Cambodia comprise largely of on-the-job learning opportunities, working alongside the local doctors and allied health providers in their daily ward rounds or clinic work. The “apprenticeship” model of training also includes ‘classroom’ sessions, with local doctors directing the emphasis of their learning. Occasionally, by providing an “outside looking in” view, we are able to discuss how differences in practice and/or systems may contribute to outcomes.

The benefits have been bidirectional. Our doctors gained exposure to a larger number of patients with later presentations, especially in infectious or febrile illnesses, premature birth and/or accidents/poisonings. Our volunteers also learn from the tenacity and resourcefulness of patients, their families, and the local staff.

Newborn/Neonatology Course to Regional Healthcare Workers 2-4 Nov 2017

Chenla Children's Healthcare

Approximately 70 Cambodian Healthcare workers (HCWs), comprising medical doctors (5%), health assistants (35%), midwives (20%) and nurses (40%) from Chenla Children's Healthcare (linked to the provincial hospital), district hospitals, satellite clinics as far as six hours away, and from across the Mekong River (close to the Cambodia-Vietnam border) attended the Newborn/Neonatology Course conducted by the KTP-NUCMI volunteers. 

Chenla Children's Healthcare

  1. Participants gained knowledge in evaluating newborn feeding/nutrition, identifying newborn in respiratory distress who will need transfer to more specialised services, recognising newborn with apnea in whom observation will not be sufficient.
  2. HCWs were empowered to make timely decisions for transfer of care of sicker babies from smaller, less equipped clinics to larger facilities.
  3. Improved understanding of local concerns and needs, which extended beyond knowledge gaps. Strengths of the course included interactive lectures and small group discussions between three facilitators and participants. Local concerns included discussions on how to communicate with patients and families better to address barriers to breastfeeding, transfer of babies to district or provincial hospitals, etc.
  4. Exposure of healthcare workers to the set up and facilities in the provincial hospital (where Chenla is situated) was a "first" for many of these HCWs. Participants provided feedback that the exposure enabled them to better explain to patients the implications for transfer, and would help them better address barriers to transfer. Recently, a young patient was treated and saved because workers in the outlying health center knew Chenla well after having received training from the hospital staff.
Evaluation of inpatients alongside local paediatricians with bedside teaching

The KTP-NUCMI volunteers did ward rounds with the local paediatricians on the existing inpatients (approximately 10 at that time), carried out discussions to aid their independent decision-making and during one of the visits, actively stood by for a resuscitation of one sick baby. 

Chenla Children’s Healthcare

Creating framework for future collaboration

Chenla Children’s Healthcare

Over meals with the local staff, our KTP-NUCMI volunteers explored the needs of the existing Paediatric Service in Chenla in an attempt to create new framework for further collaboration in service provision, capacity building, education and laid out some plans for future collaboration. 

  • Providing regular outreach activities to villages in Eastern Cambodia to improve referral rates to the provincial hospital where high quality care, medications and clinical services are more readily available
  • Providing health education to surrounding rural districts targeting the most poverty stricken areas
  • Improving standards of medical care through training and capacity building of local staff
  • Finding teaching staff to train and work alongside local doctors to help save lives, strengthen the public sector's role in providing high quality paediatric health services in Eastern Cambodia
  • Establishing a stabilisation, transport and referral centre to coordinate care for children when higher level services, such as intensive care, cancer treatment, or heart surgery are needed

Potential plans include another visit by the NUH team to run clinics and provide supervision at ward rounds.

1E Kent Ridge Road, NUHS Tower Block, Singapore 119228
Last updated on
Best viewed with Chrome 79.0, Edge 112.0, Firefox 61.0, Safari 11
National University Health System
  • National University Hospital
  • Ng Teng Fong General Hospital
  • Alexandra Hospital
  • Jurong Community Hospital
  • National University Polyclinics
  • Jurong Medical Centre
  • National University Cancer Institute, Singapore
  • National University Heart Centre, Singapore
  • National University Centre for Oral Health, Singapore
  • NUHS Diagnostics
  • NUHS Pharmacy
  • Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine
  • Faculty of Dentistry
  • Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health
Back to Top