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Pain Society of Cambodia raises awareness of palliative care and pain management

Author: Tharin Phenwan, Walailak University School of Medicine, Thailand & Keo Chamnan, Pain Society of Cambodia (PSC)
05 February 2018
  • A participant asks a question during the awareness-raising workshop.

Pain Society of Camdodia (PSC) conducted a one-day workshop about pain management at Cambodia-Japan Cooperation Centre (CJCC), Phnom Penh, in December last year.

The aim of this workshop was to raise awareness in health care providers, policy makers, volunteers, and spiritual leaders about the concept of palliative care.

About 100 participants joined this first ever palliative care workshop in the country.

Pain Society of Cambodia (PSC) aims to build awareness of pain management and to create a comprehensive information resource for those living in pain and in partnership with our member charities.

Tharin Phenwan, Vice Director of the Center of Excellence in Health System and Medical Research (CE-HSMR) at Walailak University School of Medicine, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Thailand, interviewed Keo Chamnan, President of the Pain Society of Cambodia (PSC) to find out more about the current situation of palliative care in Cambodia.

Can you tell me about the opioid situation in Cambodia? Is access restricted by law?

It is. Only trained physicians could prescribe opioids and it is very limited. Most pain medications available are second line medications or weak opioid such as codeine or tramadol.

How many patients could gain access to palliative care?

Not so many. Only the privileged ones can since patients have to pay for the medications themselves. We are also in dire need of research in palliative care.

What kind of palliative care support do you have? Is it from the government or NGOs or from donations?

We (PSC) are the only local NGO that provides palliative care service. Almost all the hospitals do not have any palliative care service yet.

What do you think is most needed right now to improve palliative care service in Cambodia?

More access to opioids; Morphine, Fentanyl patch and such.

Can you tell me more about PSC? What is your organisation's goal and how many members are there?

Pain Society of Cambodia (PSC) was founded in 2015. We have about 120 members in total and most of them are volunteers.

Our Mission is to ensure that the voice of people living in pain is heard and the quality of life in pain is enriched by raising awareness of the weight of pain on individuals and society. We aim to do this by using trustees’ and volunteers’ efforts – and by delivering the possible means of care and treatment to make sure their lives in pain are free from fear and worth living. 

Our vision is to be Cambodia’s first pain organization that everyone can trust: a passion and dedication that everyone enjoys living the best quality of life, free from or in control of, the continuing effects of pain. 

For more information or to support PSC, please contact painsocietyofcambodia@gmail.com

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