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In Cambodia and other Asian countries, many people have lesions on the soft parts of their mouth (such as ulcers and red or white patches).  Some of these lesions can progress to become oral cancer.  Oral cancer is one of the 6 most common cancers in Asia (in India, it is the 3rd most common), and studies show that in some countries the number of cases is rising each year.   The most common site for oral cancer is the tongue.  Oral cancer (when advanced) is expensive to treat, can be very disfiguring, leads to permanent impairment, and impacts severely on the patient’s quality of life.  It also has a high mortality rate when diagnosed late. 
 
Every year hundreds of Cambodians develop oral cancer, and many die.  The known risk factors for oral cancer are smoking, alcohol consumption, and betel/tobacco chewing.  A diet low in fruit and vegetables can also increase the risk of developing oral cancer.  All too often in Cambodia people with oral cancer come to see the doctor or dentist when it is already very serious.  At this stage they require radical surgery and other expensive treatment, and their chances of long-term survival is low.  However, if these lesions are detected early – complete cure is possible. 
This situation prompted a research project in 2014 to find out how common oral mucosal lesions and oral cancer are in Cambodia, and to make recommendations about how this problem might be addressed.  


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Who funded this study?
This study on oral mucosal lesions, which was a part of the CLMV Programme, was a collaborative project focusing on “Oral Health of Cambodians”. The project was funded by the Ministry of Higher Education Malaysia, whilst the National Higher Education Research Institute Malaysia acted as the coordinator for this CLMV Programme.
Who were the partners?
The main Cambodian partner was the Department of Preventive Medicine, Ministry of Health, with additional involvement of staff and students from the University of Health Sciences, the University of Puthisastra and International University. 
What was the aim of the study?
The aim of the study was to determine the prevalence and types of oral mucosal lesions in the Cambodian population.  The results could then help in the formulation of relevant oral health care policies for the country to address the high rate of oral cancer, and encourage early detection and treatment.  
Where was the study carried out?
Data was collected from Phnom Penh and 4 provinces (Kampot, Kampong Cham, Pursat, and Stung Treng). Ethical approval for this research was obtained from the Cambodian National Ethics Committee for Health Research.
Who were the examiners and how were they trained?
Prior to data collection, local Cambodian senior dental students and dentists attended a standardization and calibration workshop where they were trained to accurately recognize and diagnose oral mucosal lesions.  The training was conducted by Malaysian specialists and researchers from Universiti Malaya, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia and Universiti Sains Malaysia. Training was held for 27 local dental personnel.  A score of 75% was set as an acceptable level to be identified as a clinical examiner for this project. Almost all reached this level, and eight people were chosen to be examiners for the project and went on to carry out data collection in the field. Data collection was held between April and October 2014. Data was collected at people’s homes and also at various Pagodas.    
How many people were surveyed?
A total of 1,634 adults were recruited into this study (47% males and 53% females).
What risk factors were identified?
Alcohol consumption was the most common risk habit practiced in this population (22%), followed by smoking (20%) and betel quid chewing (8%).  Cambodian men in this survey were much more likely to smoke and drink than women.  32% of males were both smokers and drinkers.  12% of females increased their risk of oral cancer by chewing betel/tobacco quid. Only 26% of the men in this population did not indulge in any of the risky behaviors, whereas among women it was 74%.

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What oral mucosal lesions were found?
In the survey many oral mucosal lesions were found, but most of them were harmless. The prevalence of oral cancer and oral potentially malignant disorders (OPMDs) was 5.6%, which consisted of: 2 cases of oral cancer (2.2%), 59 cases of leukoplakia (64.8%); 1 case each of erythroplakia (1.1%) and oral submucous fibrosis (1.1%); and 28 cases of lichen planus (30.8%).  There was a strong association between the presence of OPMDs and the practice of risk habits (such as smoking, alcohol using, and betel/tobacco chewing) ie those people who drank alcohol, smoked and chewed betel/tobacco quid were more likely to have OPMDs.   
Conclusions
This study shows that the prevalence of oral mucosal lesions in the Cambodian population is relatively high, and that over 5% of people may have potentially malignant lesions in their mouths (ie lesions that could become oral cancer).  It is very important that all oral lesions are checked by a dentist or doctor, when they are still very small.  A biopsy (surgical removal) is sometimes needed to diagnose what the lesion is, and to help decide whether any other treatment is required.  If the lesion is advanced, urgent referral to a hospital (such as the Khmer Soviet Friendship Hospital) is indicated, where the proper investigations can be carried out and the appropriate treatment provided.  Oral cancer which is not detected early can result in death. 
At the workshop today, more than 80 dentists and senior dental students are being trained how to recognize and classify oral mucosal lesions and oral cancer.  This will help them to correctly manage these lesions when detected in their patients’ mouths. 

The research group recommends that a public health awareness campaign is mounted in Cambodia to make the public more aware of oral mucosal lesions and oral cancer, the dangers of smoking and betel/tobacco chewing, and to encourage them to seek help if they detect a lesion in their own mouth.  The research group also encourages the Ministry of Health to support the training of medical and dental personnel so that they become more skilled in examining patients’ mouths for lesions, and are able to make the correct diagnosis and management decisions when a lesion is detected.

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Stay tuned to watch interview of Mr. Kong Divin, second place student in World Championship “Microsoft office Power Point 2015”, in Your Turn Program which lives on CTN on Monday next week at 5:15pm and rebroadcasts on the same day at 9:40pm.
Having heard that children who are living in NACA need help, students from UPSTV club shared this news and started to collect some charity gifts in order to create a charity program to help NACA organization.

On Tuesday 18th August 2015, a group of students from University of Puthisastra and many other people brought all those charitable donations, giving to children at NACA, locating at #107, St.80  Sangkat  Sras Chork , Khan Doun Penh (Behind France Embassy), Phnom Penh. All of charity gifs, which are cloths and food to share to those children, are from students at University of Puthisastra and many other generous people.

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According to teacher Phan who is a director of this organization said that there are 20 orphan children are living in this organization. All children study at public school; in free time, after studying, they are also provided Khmer musical classes as well.

A warmly smile full of happiness and warmly welcome of children made us truly excited. We learnt to share today and we don’t wait to have a huge amount of luxury things. We hoped that those charity gifts could help those children.  Surely, student is the main human resource to develop country in the future; therefore, we altogether help to promote children education to be better.

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Besides these activities, a group of students as well as many other people talked and watched show performance of children happily. Director of organization was proud of all these kind-heart people and thankful to all people who came and brought all the donative stuffs to organization directly.
According to these activities, they illustrate that university also has a big concern to society and study. Joining social activities makes students get new knowledge and experiences as well as become one part to develop society.

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The result of Microsoft Office Specialist World Championship 2015, MOSWC, has been recently released in public and has made Cambodian people absolutely excited of Cambodian outstanding student.

In very young age, a student from university of Puthisastra achieved a good result which was engraved in Cambodia history as well as university, family, friends and the whole country. Kong Divin is known as an outstanding student and rewarded the first-place twice for both Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Power Point 2010. Surprisingly, he also left Cambodia with other two students to join MOSWC 2015 at United State (DALLAS, TEXAS, USA) on 8th August 2015.

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The competition held on 09th August 2015. It’ very challenging that Divin, student of University of Puthisastra, had to compete with students come from 100 countries around the world in different subjects. As a result, Divin made Cambodian people surprised because of his talent and effort. A twenty-one-years-old student has been rewarded the second -place and has also got silver medal in Microsoft Office Specialist World Championship 2015. In addition, this outstanding student also got a certificate from Certiport, a company provides core testing services for workshops and all institutions around the world, and got 2500 dollars as well.

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According to this very satisfactory result, it illustrates that even though Cambodia is a developing country, it also has human resources who are qualified to compete in international program. The development of high quality education in Cambodia has reached quality standard which is recognized globally.

Nowadays, Devin is a senior student who specializes in Data Management and Programming at University of Puthisastra. “Because of my hard working, friends, and help from lecturers who are the best consultants, especially the very inspired intrinsic motivation from my family, I could achieve all these results,” said Divin.

His family, team work, and management of University of Puthisastra went to Phnom Penh International Airport to congratulate and welcome his arrival on 14th August 2015 night.
Click here to view video about Kong Divin and his journey on MOSWC 2015



On August 19, 2015, University of Puthisastra (UP) and Korea University (KU) hold the first workshop on the Bridging State Strategy (BSS) at the auditorium of UP. The BSS aims at making Cambodia a center of economy and culture in the ASEAN after the emergence of the ASEAN Economic Community. This workshop focuses formulating a roadmap to strengthen Cambodia to serve as a bridging state in ASEAN region. This joint research project is supported by Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA). Union of Youth Federations of Cambodia (UYFC) and Council on Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) are the supporting institutions, as well.

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At this first workshop, H. E. Hun Many, a member of the Cambodian National Assembly, delivers an opening speech. ROK Ambassador Won-jin Kim and H. E. Sok Puthyvuth, President of University of Puthiastra make keynote speeches.

The BSS project was launched on April, 2015, providing a research opportunity to enhance the capacity of Cambodian experts and scholars to develop external policies in responding to the recent government’s need for evidence based policy formation. The BSS conjectures a “S-Shape” pillar for Cambodia’s economic development that would enable the country to play a bridging role in Southeast Asia. The pillar links Sihanoukvile, Phnom Penh and Siem Reap as strategic development pivots for the economic development of Cambodia.

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The BSS project includes researches on the analysis of external geoeconomic factors, ICT infrastructure building, industrialization, and tourism & culture. Five Korean scholars from Korea University and Chung Ang University and four Cambodian scholars from UP and RUPP cooperate.
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Dr. R. Anbin Ezhilan, Vice President for International Affairs and Research, has visited Mahidol University in the Purpose of cooperation with Faculty of Pharmacy During the discussion, both universities has agreed to initiate the programs as following:

1. Exchange program, including clinical rotation and short term internship program
2. Credit transfer
3. Staffs exchange program / training program for Pharmacy students
4. Joint research Activities 
5. Lecturers’ field trip to sharing knowledge to UP Students
6. Sharing experiences between professors of both Universities.
7. Scholarship programs for UP’s students
8. International Conferences
UP management has visited King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi (KMUTT). Assistant to Executive Vice President of University of Puthisastra (UP) has visited KMUTT in order to discuss. the possible cooperation of Faculty of Engineering and Faculty of Information Technology.

During the discussion, both universities have agreed to initiate the program as following:

1. Students Exchange Program of Faculty of Information Technology, including short courses, community work, and short term internship.
2. Scholarship for Master Program in Information Technology for students of University of Puthisastra.
3. Members in each faculty are sent to study Master Program to strengthen the faculty to be better one.
4. Staff are sent to pursue Master Program in International Engineering, to be ready for Engineering Program in the future.
5. Joint research activities
6. Lecturers’ field trip to sharing knowledge to IT students of University of Puthisastra.
7. Sharing experience between lecturers of both universities.
8. Staff exchange program
Dr. R. Anbin Ezhilan, Vice President for International Affairs and Research, and Mr. SENG Bunvirak, Assistant to Executive Vice President has visited Chulalongkorn University in order to discuss the possible cooperation with all Faculties involved in Health Sciences.

During the discussion, both Universities have agreed to initiate the programs as following: 

1. Exchange program, including clinical rotation, short term internship program
2. Credit transfer
3. Staffs exchange program
4. Joint research activities 
5. Lecturers’ field trip to sharing experience to students of University of Puthisastra
6. Sharing experiences between professors of both universities
7. Scholarship programs for UP’s students
8. International Conferences
Ms. Chenda Roth went to the Republic of Korea two days ago.  As Cambodian she attends Bokator Exchange Program for three months. May her travel be safe as well as bring a lot of experiences and share with the next generation.
From 28th to 30th July2015, University of Puthisastra organized a seminar on Neurology which was presented by Dr. Gizelle Petzinger, from Department of Neurology. The aim of this seminar was to engage students of University of Puthisastra to experience new knowledge beyond what they have learned in the class, especially, they could absorb teaching technuqes and methodologies of foriegn professors. Noticeably, students were really joyful about what they learned in the senimar since they could attend with their doctors and team to answer the qestions and take the small test on the last day of the seminar. Students were awarded the certificates of attendances, moreover.

On behalf of University of Puthisastra, we are thankful to Dr. Gizelle Petzinger and staff for spending valuable time in presenting a beneficial senimar for  our students. We believe that Department of Neurology, University of Southern California will visit our university again in order to share new knowledge to our students.

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