Organization for Speech and Swallowing Therapy Cambodia (SSTC) provides ongoing clinical supervision to medical professionals, including doctors and nurses, at public hospitals in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Our main focus is the evaluation of swallowing disorders (dysphagia), a condition suffered by stroke patients and which can lead to malnutrition, pneumonia, and if not treated death. In short, we are here to save lives and improve the quality of life for Cambodians who have suffered strokes etc.
According to reports from the WHO, the Cambodian Ministry of Health, Cambodian health professionals, and extensive international literature dating back more than 40 years, patients who have experienced strokes or traumatic brain injury, or progressive neurological diseases such as Parkinson's or Alzheimer's disease, or patients with COPD often suffer from swallowing impairments. Swallowing therapy (dysphagia therapy) can help these patients.
Since 2014, we have trained over thirty Cambodian medical professionals in dysphagia assessment and therapy techniques, including strategies for care by family members of patients at Khmer Soviet Friendship Hospital, Calmette Hospital, and Kossamak Hospital. Of these original trainees, ten clinicians across these three public hospitals have passed the training, are actively practicing, and are now reaching independence in dysphagia management.
Our ongoing long-term impact goal is to partner with other Cambodian organizations and institutions invested in the same mission and to ultimately promote the education and certification of Cambodian Speech-Language Pathologists at a university level. The only way to ensure the sustainability of speech therapy in Cambodia is through a new generation of trained and certified Cambodian speech therapists.