School of Dentistry at Hiroshima University forms ties with university in Cambodia

by Miho Kuwajima, Staff Writer

Three university professors from Japan, including Takashi Takata, 55, dean of the School of Dentistry at Hiroshima University, visited the University of Health Science in Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia, on September 22. They met with Suon Phany, 62, dean of the university's Faculty of Odonto-Stomatology, and reached an agreement to conduct academic and exchange programs between the two universities. Hiroshima University will invite Mr. Suon to an international academic society that will gather in November on its campus to conclude the formal signing of the alliance.

Hiroshima University will provide the latest dentistry practices and technology through such measures as sending its faculty members and students to the University of Health Science. Hiroshima University will also prepare to receive exchange students from the Cambodian university at the graduate level starting in the next academic year. Mr. Takata has inquired about the possibility of establishing the Hiroshima University Dentistry Laboratory and Clinic (a tentative name) at the Health Science University as a joint effort of the two institutions. "We would like to help establish an environment where the exchange students who study at Hiroshima University can continue their advanced research after returning to Cambodia," Mr. Takata said.

"In Cambodia, a large number of dentists were killed in the civil war and only about 30 managed to survive," Mr. Suon responded. "Since the war, we have done our best to foster a new generation of dentists. However, both the number of dentists and the dentistry technology are still insufficient. We look forward to developing the field of dentistry in Cambodia by forming this alliance with Hiroshima University."

Mr. Takata and the two professors are part of a medical support delegation dispatched by Peace Contribution NGOs Hiroshima, a Hiroshima-based non-profit organization. They are holding meetings at Cambodia's Health Ministry on programs for future support as well as conducting dental checkups and oral hygiene demonstrations with Japanese university students at rural elementary schools between September 19 and 23.

(Originally published on September 23, 2009)

Related articles
Hiroshima University sends dentists to Cambodia (Sept. 8, 2009)