Children’s Surgical Centre Thank You Letter

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Who are CSC?

The Children’s Surgical Centre (CSC) provides a range of specialised rehabilitation surgical services, surgical training, and direct support to the people of Cambodia – free of charge. CSC is an international non-governmental organization (NGO) recognised by the Cambodian Royal Government and incorporated as not-for-profit in the state of Alaska, USA. CSC has been determined to be a tax-exempt organization as described in section 501(c)(3) of the USA Internal Revenue Code. CSC has no religious or political affiliation.

What do CSC do?

CSC aims to improve the quality of life for disabled Cambodian children and adults by providing free rehabilitation surgery. Integral to this mission is a program of training local surgeons and health workers, focusing on the development of sustainable health services. CSC provides a wide range of surgery, encompassing orthopaedic surgery, eye surgery, and plastic & burn surgery.

Why do CSC do it?

  • Surgical rehabilitation is beneficial to the patients, to their families, and to Cambodian society.
  • Rehabilitation surgery is easy to organise, inexpensive, and is highly effective in improving lives.
  • Locally trained surgeons can readily learn how to perform the procedures.

History of CSC

CSC’s Founder and CEO, Dr. Jim Gollogly, a British-American surgeon, first came to Cambodia in the early 1990s for a six-month assignment with the American Red Cross. After thirty years of war and genocide by the Pol Pot regime, in which the country’s educated were targeted for execution, the medical system suffered tremendously. Upon arriving to Cambodia, Dr. Jim found that various disabilities and landmine injuries were rampant. Having made a few contacts during his assignment, he returned to Cambodia in 1998, following the UN-backed elections. CSC started as a small project to help victims of landmine injuries, many of whom were children, and has grown into what it is today.

CSC’s Mission Statement

CSC aims to improve the quality of life for disabled poor people by providing free rehabilitation surgery. Integral to this mission is a program of training local surgeons and health workers, focusing on the development of sustainable surgical services for Cambodians.

Around 500 million people, or 12% of the world’s population, suffer from some sort of disability. Disabilities can bring misery, reduce economic status, destroy social integration and cause untold suffering through stigmatization and marginalization from society.

In the last 30 years international agencies have made great efforts to assist with health-care in developing countries focusing on the principles of ‘primary health care’; e.g. sanitation, clean water, and Maternal & Child Health (MCH). Surgery has been considerably under-emphasized as ‘too sophisticated and expensive’ for widespread impact.

However, CSC’s experience shows that:

  • Safe, simple surgery is easy to organise, can be cheap (US$35-$200 per operation), and highly effective.
  • The results of successful surgery are beneficial to the patient, gratifying to the surgeon, and the technology is practical.
  • The costs are sustainable for developing countries and are similar to the costs for medical treatment of chronic diseases.
  • Locally trained surgeons can readily learn how to do the procedures.

CSC demonstrates the enormous benefits of simple, safe, rehabilitation surgery in developing countries by providing surgery and training programs on a daily basis.

 

The Costs

No patients are charged for operations or treatment at CSC, although they may have to pay for drugs or tests at outside facilities if they are seen only in consultation and if they are not inpatients.

Over 80 Khmer staff work at CSC: doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, and support people (performing cleaning, maintenance, administration and security). Salaries are the biggest monthly expense, followed by surgical supplies and then utilities and operating costs. Every year, a rough “cost per operation” is assessed by dividing the total amount of money spent, by the total number of operations performed. In 2009, with $700,000 spent on about 5,000 operations, the cost per operation at CSC was approximately $140. This cost per operation has been steadily rising, as more complex operations become available, and more expensive materials or investigations are required. In 2011, for example, this number nearly doubled to $272 due to a building expansion (which more than tripled our space), and expensive vitreoretinal surgical equipment. However, no one doubts these operations are done at a bargain price: free to the patient, and cheap for CSC.

Needs

The greatest need is for ongoing contributions to everyday running costs. CSC is always looking for sponsors who will donate funds to maintain the program in its present form, and even to expand into new procedures such as spinal surgery to cure or ameliorate such conditions as paralysis due to tuberculosis of the spine. Prospective donors who wish to make a specific donation targeted at a group of patients, or a particular program, can always e-mail us to discuss such support.

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