by Nguon Sovan and Mao Pengfei
KAMPONG CHAM, Cambodia, Dec. 4 (Xinhua) -- Vath Van, an 11-year-old Cambodian teenager, has enjoyed his healthy life after having his congenital heart disease (CHD) remedied by Chinese doctors three months ago.
Van, a seventh-grade student at a secondary school in Kampong Cham province's Bateay district, had suffered from CHD from birth. However, he knew nothing about that until July when a Chinese and Cambodian doctor team visited his school to screen students for the heart disease.
With the doctors' help under the "China-Cambodia Love Heart Journey" program, he was sent to the Fuwai Yunnan Cardiovascular Hospital in Southwest China's Yunnan Province in September for a free surgery, which has totally changed his life.
He said he used to breathe rapidly and suffer pains in his heart when he ran a little bit. "Now, after the surgery, I become healthy and can do whatever the common children can do," he told Xinhua.
Van said he was accompanied by his father in Yunnan province for the surgery and stayed there for two weeks.
"When I grow up, I want to be a doctor," he said after expressing gratitude to the Chinese doctors for curing his heart disease.
The China-Cambodia Love Heart Journey program was launched in January 2018. Under the three-year program, China will provide 150 Cambodian children who have CHD with free surgeries.
Duo Lin, director of international cooperation office of the Fuwai Yunnan Cardiovascular Hospital, said China covered all expenses, including air tickets, food, accommodation and surgery cost, during their trip to China for the surgeries.
"In our hospital, Fuwai Yunnan Cardiovascular Hospital, they got very good care and free treatment," he told Xinhua while leading a medical team to give heart checks to about 600 students at a primary school in Bateay district.
Volunteers accompanied kids who had surgeries to their home in Cambodia and followed up with the children from three months to half a year to monitor their condition, he said.
Chea Monyrith, the manager of CHD project in Cambodia, said his team has assisted the Chinese medical team to carry out checks for about 80,000 school children in about 10 Cambodian provinces for CHD.
"One out of 1,000 kids has open-heart disease," he told Xinhua. "Seventy-six children have been sent to China for surgery and treatment ... and 73 of them have been successfully operated and returned to Cambodia."
Ty Sovanna, administration chief of Bateay district health bureau, said the project is very important to save the lives of children with open-heart disease.
"It contributes to reducing poverty, and improves children's health, so they will become good human resources for the nation when they grow up," he told Xinhua, saying it is a proof of the good relations between the people of China and Cambodia.