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Particularities of building institutional services for Hiv/Aids suffering children in South-Easthern Asia


Background. We'd like to concentrate on particularities of building institutional services for Hiv/Aids suffering children, mostly orphans and semi/orphans, in south-eastern Asia, especially in Cambodia. Most of the approaches, we use in Europe, are based on our traditions, religion, mentality, etc. Using of these approaches in other parts of the world can cause problems or, can cause their non efficiency. Because of globalisation, we will face the problems, caused by these differences, more and more often. Based on my year and half experience of creating the clinic for Hiv/Aids suffering children in Phnom Penh (Cambodia) and working experiences at this clinic, I'd like to discuss some particular questions that we've faced with my colleagues. The main questions were:

  • quality or quantity: would we concentrate on the medical services, which means more children on treatment or on social services, which means less children, but higher quality of provided care,
  • range of services: adaptation of European standards of care to local standards and searching for appropriate range of services,
  • adaptation of educational and therapeutical approaches: because of significant differences in upbringing, using of punishments, etc.,
  • organisation of the free time: the main risks of excessive organisation of free time,
  • the length of stay,
  • cooperation with the family, preparation of the family for the future reintegration,
  • cooperation with local other institution, local authorities and state.

Discussing these questions and searching for right answers is essential for providing professional services in South-Eastern Asia, as the cultural, historical, religious, economical and social differences are substantial. Answering these questions can also help to prepare professionals, which are interested in working in the third world countries. And professionals are what these countries need most.

We want to present the cross national perspectives of creating institutional services for Hiv/Aids suffering children, their families and their community. Answering the questions mentioned above set the base for the challenge of founding the St. Maximilian Colbe Clinic for Hiv/Aids suffering children - project House of Family in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where we provide complex services for these children and their families. Our services contain of:

Health care services:

  • professional medical and nursing care for Hiv/Aids persons,
  • daily monitoring (24 hours) for children,
  • regularly testing of dependent parameters,
  • specific nutrition.

Social services:

  • providing of substitute accommodation,
  • development of social skills,
  • development of communication skills,
  • guaranty of attending of public school for school-age children,
  • supported additional teaching (10 hours weekly) for school-age and preschool-age children,
  • psychosocial support for children and their families,
  • counselling for relatives,
  • regulated daily program according to above mentioned activities.


Purpose. To present the St. Maximilian Colbe Clinic for Hiv/Aids suffering children in Phnom Penh, Cambodia and the principles and bases of its founding and operating. The target population is children infected with Hiv or suffering from Aids, infected by mother (mother-to-child transmission) aged between 1-18. Up to day there are 90 children in the project (60 inpatients and 30 outpatients) and 20 parents. Important part of the project is also incorporation of local employees in the positions of local coordinator, social worker, nurse and other positions.

 Recommendations. The main recommendations are:

  • intensive preparation for working in the country with different social, economical, historical, religion tradition,
  • need of adaptation of customary approaches,
  • need of adequate knowledge of local history, traditions, religion, etc.,
  • finalizing of project in the place of its operating,
  • incorporation of local professionals,
  • intensive cooperation with other institution.

Key references

Botek, O., Zakova, M., & Doczeova A., (2005). Paliativna starostlivost o deti zijuce s HIV/AIDS v Kambodzi. Collection of contributions of the 3rd International conference on Hospice and Palliative Care, Trnava, Trnava University, Faculty of Health Care and Social Work, 141-143.

Bucko, L., West, D., Botek, O., Zak, M. et al. (2005). The Role of Universities in Focused Social Work for the Third World - A Mission of Hope. J. Health Manag. Publ. Health, 1-2, 2-3.

Contacts: Ondrej Botek, School of Public Health and Social Work of st. Elisabeth in Bratislava, Palackého č. 1, P.O. Box 104, 810 00 Bratislava, Slovakia, E-mail: obotek@gmail.com, Phone +421/905/309 458.


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