Step-by-step and brick-by-brick: a construction worker’s journey to recovery

The construction industry is booming in Cambodia, with the shells of new buildings appearing week after week. While this brings much-needed jobs and employment, the regulation of building sites struggles to keep pace with the speed of development. Workers are often exposed to unsafe conditions, coming to work in flip flops, and without hard hats, gloves or other protective wear, which presents new public health concerns. 

Our patient, Bros, 49, is a construction worker who experienced these dangers first-hand. While demolishing a building to make way for new development, a segment of wall fell on Bros’ left leg, crushing the bone beneath it. Bros was in intense pain. Unable to work, he returned home to Kampot province.

Bros earns just $6 a day and thought that expensive care and surgery was not possible for him. Fortunately, his brother-in-law took him to SHCH’s sister hospital, the Sonja Kill Memorial Hospital (SKMH) where he was x-rayed and referred to SHCH for surgery. At SHCH, the team confirmed that Bros had a fractured patella. They operated to realign the bone correctly and enable its healing. Bros recovered during a brief stay at SHCH and was soon discharged home with a smile on his face.

‘I had just $17.50 in my pocket when I came to SHCH, so I am very relieved that the hospital cared for me free of charge,’ said Bros. ‘I can already walk again a little bit, and I hope I will be completely better soon. Thank you very much for helping me.’

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Sihanouk Hospital Video: 20 years of compassionate care in Cambodia


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