Reported by Dr. Aaron Garrison, UNC Surgery Resident:
Dr. Weiner and I went to Cambodia Aug. 24 - Sept. 4, 2008. We volunteered at the Angkor Hospital for Children in Siem Reap, Cambodia. The hospital is funded by Friends Without a Border, founded by photographer Kenro Izu who, after visiting the Temples in Angkor Wat, discovered that one out of seven children die before the age of five in Cambodia. Furthermore, nearly two million Cambodians were killed during the Khmer Rouge regime in the 1970s, and many of these were educated professionals. The purpose of our trip was primarily education for the surgeons who work at the hospital. They are very dedicated and hard-working but lack formal pediatric surgical training. We assisted them with correcting complex anorectal malformations, endorectal "pull-throughs" for Hirschsprung's disease, resection of a sacral teratoma, as well as thoracic and general surgical cases. Dr. Weiner is hoping to start an exchange program in which UNC residents can volunteer their time abroad, and the Cambodian surgeons can come to Chapel Hill to learn new techniques.