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Cambodia Fights Disease

Cambodia has a newly renovated national public health laboratory, funded by the United States government. U.S. Embassy to Cambodia Charge d'affaires Piper Campbell and Cambodia's Health Secretary of State Professor Eng Huot took part in ceremonies, August 29th, opening the laboratory at the National Institute of Public Health in Phnom Penh.

Renovation of the molecular biology laboratory was funded by the U.S. government's Centers for Disease Control. The new facility will serve as a center for conducting polymerase chain reaction testing for avian influenza, HIV, and other diseases. It is also a starting point in joint U.S.-Cambodia efforts in developing the capacity to conduct even more sophisticated diagnostic testing for a host of other infections in the future.

The Centers for Disease Control provided six-hundred-fifty-thousand dollars to support the renovation of this laboratory's diagnostic capacity. This brings its total support for the development of laboratory capacity in Cambodia to three million dollars.

The Centers for Disease Control has also provided major financial support in order to train staff at the facility on molecular techniques, as well as other staff on serology, bacteriology, immunology including CD4 testing, hematology, and laboratory management. Laboratorians working at the provincial level have also received training in these areas, and the new laboratory will serve as a training facility for laboratory workers in Cambodia's provinces.

This facility and training provided are yet another concrete example of the U.S. government's efforts to detect and combat disease in the region. It is only a part of the more than thirty-six million dollars in aid that has been provided this year to support the health care sector in Cambodia. The United States Agency for International Development has provided nearly two-hundred million dollars for education and health and in Cambodia since 2002. The U.S. remains committed to helping Cambodia build a healthy, democratic, and prosperous society.