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Vietnam Doctors Treat Polio in Capital

Eight Vietnamese doctors from a Ho Chi Minh City hospital this week are treating young Cambodian polio patients at Phnom Penh Municipal Hospital, part of a privately sponsored, six-day program.

Vietnamese doctors have in the past come to Phnom Penh to treat eye patients, but this program, which will only serve children under the age of 16, is the first of its kind.

Dr. Le Duc To, of the Phueng Dung Hospital in Ho Chi Minh City, said many Cambodians must travel to Vietnam for polio treatment. The work is aimed at helping people who can't raise the money to go to Vietnam.

Veng Thai, director the Phnom Penh health department, said the mission was important, to fulfill what Cambodian doctors lack.

About 190 people registered, but officials expect only 40 children will receive treatment.

This is the first such mission for polio, but five other groups of Vietnamese doctors have come in the past to provide eye care.

So Phea, a mother of a 10-year-old boy who received treatment Tuesday, said she believed that her son would get better now.

Her son has not been able to walk since he was born, and she said now she hopes he'll be able to now.

Another mother said her 14-year-old was down to his last hope; she has exhausted all treatments available in Phnom Penh.

The mission is sponsored by Vinh Tien Paper Corp., from Ho Chi Minh City, and another operation will be conducted in Siem Reap next year.