UP VOICE VOL.41 – June 2020

The Official Newsletter of the University of Puthisastra (UP)-Vol.41 June 2020 Download


to Professor Durward and Professor Vento

on their professorial appointments at UP

Prof Callum Durward graduated from the University of Otago in 1981. Later he gained an MDSc in “Childrens and Preventive Dentistry” from the University of Melbourne, and an MPH from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In the 1980s he spent several years working in refugee camps in Thailand and Malaysia. In the early ‘90s he worked in Cambodia for an NGO, helping to develop dental services and education. During 2001-2003 Prof Durward spent 6 months in East Timor as an Oral Health Promotion Advisor for an AusAID project.

He has also been a Senior Lecturer at the University of Otago and AUT University in NZ, Principal Dental Officer for the Otago District Health Board, and a Consultant Paediatric Dentist for the Auckland District Health Board. He has lived in Cambodia for the past 12 years where he was formerly Dean of the Faculty of Dentistry, International University. He has been at the University of Puthisastra for the past 7 years, and is currently an Adjunct Professor at James Cook University (JCU) in Australia, and an Adjunct Assistant Clinical Professor at University of New England (UNE). Prof Durward has been author or co-author of over 60 papers and has co-authored one book chapter.

He is active in dental education and research in the region, and is on committees of the International Association of Dental Research (IADR-SEA) and the Southeast Asian Association of Dental Education (SEAADE), and the Association of Dental Education of Asia and the Pacific (ADEAP).

Sandro Vento is currently Professor and Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Puthisastra.

Prior to joining UP, he was Professor and Founding Chair of Medicine at Nazarbayev University, and Medical Director of the University Medical Center (including four referral hospitals) in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan; Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Botswana; Professor and Founding Head of the Department of Medicine at the University of Botswana; Head of the Department of Medicine at Princess Marina National Referral Hospital in Gaborone, Botswana; Director of the Infectious Diseases Unit at Annunziata Referral Hospital in Cosenza, Italy; Associate Professor of Infectious Diseases at the University of Verona, Italy; Consultant in Infectious Diseases at Civile Maggiore Referral Hospital in Verona and at Arnaldo Pugliese Referral Hospital in Catanzaro, Italy.

He has over 230 publications in peer-reviewed international journals, including 7 in the New England Journal of Medicine and 35 in The Lancet (the two most important medical journals worldwide).

UP looks forward to seeing UP graduates becoming health care Leaders not just in Cambodia but across the World. We have very high calibre of foreigner and Khmer staff.

We are delighted in the progress that UP is being recognized across the World as well as making a real difference to Cambodian lives.

There is no better time to be studying at UP!

Congratulations to Dr Chea Sin for his appointment as an International Board Member for the very prestigious journal in the world’s leading publisher

Dr Chea Sin, Dean of Faculty of Pharmacy, has been working for faculty of pharmacy, University of Puthisastra (UP) for 5 years. June 02, 2020 will be his 5th anniversary of full-time service at University of Puthisastra. He has been recognized both locally and internationally. Locally, he is the member of Pharmacy Council of Phnom Penh, and Vice-President of Regional Council of Pharmacy for region 1, which covers Phnom Penh, Kampong Chhnang, Kampong Speu, and Kandal province. He is also a member of National Committee for Pharmacy Curriculum Development. In the international setting, he is a member of World Union for Herbal Drug Discovery, and an editor for Asian Journal of Pharmacognosy.

Recently, he was appointed as an international board member for ‘Le Pharmacien Hospitalier et Clinicien’, based in France, in ELSERVIER, which is the world’s leading publisher of science and health information, and serves more than 30 million scientists, students, and health and information professionals worldwide. These roles enable him to make huge contributions to the success of pharmacy field both in Cambodia and in the world. Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Puthisasta, is very proud to have him as the faculty leader.

FREE SCREENING for Liver Fibrosis will re-start on Tuesday 2nd June 2020

The study of liver fibrosis, a condition that may progress to liver cirrhosis and even to death, will resume on 2nd June 2020. The study, approved by the National Ethics Committee for Health Research (033 NECHR), aims to determine the prevalence of liver fibrosis in the Cambodian general population using FibroScan®, a special ultrasound-like machine. The examination causes no pain or harm to participants and takes only 10 to 15 minutes. The Faculty of Medicine started providing a free screening for liver fibrosis to Cambodian people not aware of/not diagnosed with chronic liver disease since the beginning of March 2020, but the activity was soon stopped due to COVID-19 and UP Campus closure.

The study’s investigator and examiner, Dr. Francesca Cainelli (a specialist physician with over 20 years of experience in liver diseases, trained and certified in this technique at the Royal Free Hospital in London, United Kingdom), is available to conduct the screening for the volunteer participants every Tuesday and Friday morning from 8:30am to 12:00pm, in room L11, 1st floor, building L, University of Puthisastra Campus, close to Street 180 entrance.


The study’s investigator and examiner, Dr. Francesca Cainelli (a specialist physician with over 20 years of experience in liver diseases, trained and certified in this technique at the Royal Free Hospital in London, United Kingdom), is available to conduct the screening for the volunteer participants every Tuesday and Friday morning from 8:30am to 12:00pm, in room L11, 1st floor, building L, University of Puthisastra Campus, close to Street 180 entrance.

Eating a nutritious diet during pregnancy is linked to good fetal brain development, a healthy birth weight, and it reduces the risk of many birth defects. A balanced diet will also reduce the risks of anemia, as well as other unpleasant pregnancy symptoms such as fatigue and morning sickness.What is a balanced diet for pregnant women? Pregnant women need to have foods that contain iron, meats, fish, poultry, egg, bean, and green leaf vegetables and vegetables.

A nutritious dies includes:

  1. Carbohydrates: these are the main source of vitamins and fiber and contain calories. They include: bread, potato, cereals, rice, noodle, corn, andsweet potato. This is an important daily food.
  2. Proteins – meat, fish, bean, egg, milk, yogurt, and cereal. These contain vitamins and minerals and are high in fiber to help in digestion and avoid constipation. Milk and yogurt contain calcium and other nutrition for the baby growth need.
  3. Energy foods: include oil and natural sugar but this should have a little amount in the diet.
  4. Protected foods: contain vitamins and minerals found in fruits and vegetables. These foods help to strenthen the immunity of the body.

It is also important to know which food/drinks NOT to consume to help promote the baby’s growth and development in the uterus.Avoid any alcohol drinks,raw meat, fish, shellfish,snails,unpasteurised milk and raw eggs. These foods can put mother and baby at risk of complications during pregnancy. As well as eating a nutritious diet, pregnant women must also have regular health check ups during pregnancy at a health clinic. At these check ups most women will be given folic acid and other multivitamin as prescribed by the doctor to ensure healthy growth and development of the baby and to support the health and wellbeing of the mother.

Reference: https://www.prb.org/maternalmortalityaleadingcauseofdeathincambodia/

Faculty of Pharmacy Developed Online Clerkship Program

Globally, pharmacy education comprises of practices aiming to strengthen students’ competencies. These competencies can be achieved through practices in the provision of services in pharmacies, laboratories, and hospitals. Clerkship is one of the opportunities given to students to develop their skills and attitudes in the community Pharmacy, hospital pharmacy, medical laboratory, pharmaceutical industry and other institutions. During Covid-19 pandemic, all schools and universities are physically closed. Physical clerkship activities are also postponed and universities are starting to provide online delivery courses. Due to indefinite closure, UP faculty of pharmacy has developed new online program to ensure maximum quality of education in clerkship domain for year-3, year-4, and year-5 pharmacy students.

Year-3 Clerkship: From May 27, 2020, speakers who had completed clerkship activities at eight different hospital pharmacies in Phnom Penh are sharing the real clerkship experiences and activities. By the end of this program, students will be able to identify the hospital org chart, pharmacist’s responsibility, medication information, prescription validation, prescription error and inventory management.

Year-4 Clerkship: From June 01, 2020, speakers who had done their clerkship at seven different hospital laboratories in Phnom Penh are willing share their real practice and experiences. By the end of program, year-4 pharmacy students will be able to identify org chart of laboratory, pharmacist’s responsibilities, analytical methods and machinery usage in Biochemistry, Bacteriology, Hematology, Microbiology, Immunology and Serology.

Year-5 Clerkship: From June 01, 2020, speakers who had completed the clerkship at local pharmaceutical industries, and public institutions are willing to share students about their real experiences and practices. By the end of program, year-5 pharmacy students will be able to identify org chart of clerkship places, responsibility, production line, quality control, medication dispensing to hospital by CMS control, knowledge about herbal plant, and pharmaceutical legislation. Although the physical clerkship activities are delayed, pharmacy students keep receiving maximum quality of education particularly in clerkship and internship.

Introducing Head of Nursing


Sreypeov took up her position as Head of Nursing in February this year. She had worked in the Department of Nursing for many years as a part time lecturer and more recently in a deputy head role. She was rejoining the UP Nursing team after having time away to focus on her now 2 year old beautiful daughter, Bella.

Sreypeov graduated with her Associate Degree in Nursing in 2007. At the same time, she was completing a Bachelor of Arts with an English major. From here she went straight on to do her Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree in a 2 year bridging program in the Philippines. Sreypeov was the first Cambodian nurse to take up this opportunity and was successful in achieving this in 2010.

Her determination and commitment to ongoing education, to nursing and to advancing her career saw her successfully gain a place as a student in a Masters in Science of Nursing program at Loma Linda University, on completion of her Bachelor degree. Again Sreypoev was leading the way: she was the first Cambodian nurse to study an online master’s degree and was one among only five Cambodian nurses to graduate successfully in 2013.

Sreypeov`s determination is be reflected in a life rule she has: a mistake can happen only once, if it happens more than twice, it is a choice. Along with over 7 years teaching experience, Sreypeov brings to her role a strong clinical expertise in the specialty area of neurological nursing with additional knowledge in the area of health nutrition. Sreypeov is very passionate about nursing as a profession and understand that nurses need to have a strong voice to lead nursing education and to strengthen the nursing profession moving forward. While seeing it as a professional responsibility, she also takes great pleasure in mentoring younger nurses, encouraging them and sharing her knowledge, skills and experiences with them to facilitate their professional journeys. Sreypeov is an excellent role model to UP nursing students and staff alike.

Introducing Learning Center Support (Library)/QLTS

My name is CHIN Chanthy. I am the Manager of the Learning Center (Library) at the University of Puthisastra (UP). The Learning Center is part of the Quality, Learning and Teaching, and Students (QLTS) Department. My role is very broad-ranging and, like university librarians everywhere, has expanded beyond the role of a traditional University Librarian. As always, my role is to lead a team to help people find information and conduct research for personal and professional use. However, in a rapidly changing digital world, my team and I regularly re-assess existing services and look to offer new ones to support the work of our students in their learning activities, but also of lecturers and researchers.

This means we are re-inventing ourselves and looking at different models and ways of working, and new techniques to meet the needs of users. My team and I are refreshing our training to respond to a myriad of new challenges: electronic resource management, data access, and text and data mining, to name a few.

My role at UP was mainly responsible for ensuring smooth management of a traditional library – developing library standard systems, and fostering an attractive library environment that allowed students to access all the relevant learning materials such as books and e-books with ease. We still do that, of course, but alongside the management of physical resources and activities, we have adopted a digital library model, transforming resources and services into digital formats to support teaching, learning, and research. This transition has affected all of our roles and activities due to newly- required skills.

For instance, at the beginning of this year, UP’s Chancellor, H.E. SOK Puthyvuth opened our eLearning Centre, which houses high-speed computers with the latest software and access to a huge repository of online resources. Keeping in mind the different needs of students at different times, the eLearning Centre also has brightly-colored and very comfortable bean-bags for students to relax in while they discuss their studies, do some quiet research, or hold lively discussions.

While UP’s campus has been closed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, I have led the Learning Centre’s team of Digital Facilitators (Sokha and Manith) and joined with my colleagues in QLTS’ Learning and Teaching team (Vibol and Serey) and our colleagues in ITS to train UP’s lecturers on how to use Google Meet, Google Drive, and Email to deliver their teaching to our students online. My Learning Centre colleagues, Sim Chanbuntith and Chhorn Sreysros are also supporting this effort.

More recently, I joined the UPOP team, to learn all about delivering learning and teaching using UP’s Online Learning Management System -Moodle. We are now preparing to train all our lecturers to use UPOP so that lecturers and students can continue with even better teaching and learning experiences while the campus is closed.

As part of the ongoing traditional areas of Learning Centre services, I continue to help students and lecturers find learning and teaching resources they need using our hard-copy textbook and available online databases. I am happy to be engaging with the digital world, but I still very much enjoy the interactions with UP students and staff when we are in the Learning Centre together!


For the past 6-8 months two UP dental students, Samith Amara and Heng Rithi, have been doing internships at the renowned the Roomchang Dental Hospital in Phnom Penh. Following an online application and interview, Rithi (batch 3) and Amara (batch 2) were offered Clinical Fellowships for several days per week (when not attending the UP Dental Clinic or lectures). It involves observing and assisting the senior dentists, some of whom are specialists in implantology, prosthodontics, endodontics and pediatric dentistry. The interview below highlights some of the benefits Rithi and Amara have experienced.

Why did you want to do an internship at Roomchang Dental Hospital?

Rithi – Because Roomchang is a state-of-art dental hospital that has more than 2 decades of experience with a strong commitment to provide quality dentistry to everyone. Actually it also has many specialists working there so it is a great opportunity to learn from some of the best dentists in Cambodia.
Amara – Because it is regarded as the top clinic in Cambodia, with a lot of top dentists with many years of experience, and they use very modern equipment and have the latest technologies in dentistry.

What have you been able to observe so far?

Rithi – During my time there I have seen a lot of oral surgery, especially 3rd molar removal and dental implants. I have also seen endodontic treatment of difficult cases, really good esthetic dentistry, prosthodontics and orthodontics. Sometimes I assist the dentists at the chairside as they treat the patients. Some of the dentists ask me questions and explain what they are doing, and why they have chosen this particular treatment or material. I have learnt a lot.

What impresses you about RC?

Amara – Their working standards are the same as overseas, which is probably why they have many foreign patients coming. Patients trust the dentists at Roomchang.
Rithi – The place so well organized, with a lot of high quality materials and equipment. Also the dentists, assistants and receptionists are very professional. They put the patients first, and act ethically, explaining to the patient the diagnosis, the various treatment options and the costs. Also, their cross infection control is of a high standard.

Do you think this has been a good experience for you?

Amara – I think it has been a very good experience for me that I can intern there.
Rithi – Yes of course. I would recommend other students apply for internships like this.

How well do you think your education at UP has prepared you for entering the workforce?

Amara – I think my education at UP has prepared me well, especially the good supervised clinical experience I got in years 4 to 7. But having been at Roomchang, I realize that I still have a lot more to learn.

What is your long-term plan?

Rithi – I hope that following my clinical experiences at UP, and my internship at Roomchang, I can become a good dentist and work in a top dental clinic.
Amara – My long-term plan is to be a dentist at Roomchang, and gradually improve my skills.

Solidify passion for opening pharmacy by PharmaCareer Club

Good grade does not mean everything. Good grade is enough to get students in the top school, university, and enough to give students a good job. However, good grade alone does not make people’s life a set of great success. In educational field, academic success is very important for students, schools, universities and communities. Anyway, education will be incomplete without extracurricular activities, study clubs in particular. One of the study clubs in the Faculty of Pharmacy called PharmaCareer Club coordinated by Mr. Chanseiha NY aims to orient pharmacy students to choose the right career pathway based on their competencies and potentials and provide pharmacy students with successful experiences shared by professionals in the field of pharmacy.

With 50 participants, PharmaCareer Club had invited Mr. Sitha KIM, owner of Unicare pharmacy, which currently has 3 branches located in Phnom Penh city and Ratanakiri province to be special speaker during this week. Mr. Sitha KIM completed his Master of Pharmacy (M.Pharm.) from Khon Kaen University, Thailand. He is also a part-time lecturer in the area of pharmaceutical technology in UP Faculty of Pharmacy. Through google meet, the whole session was moderated by Ms. Marina HUL and stressing on how to build academic capacity for students who are passionate to open pharmacy in the future. Our speaker had explicitly shared the knowledge, skills, and attitudes required for area of community pharmacy which pharmacist will need to startup pharmacy successfully.

Besides talking on hard and soft skills, he had provided his personal key of success regarding the human resource management, financial management, purchasing and dispensing. This sharing would solidify the passion of pharmacy students particularly who are planning to invest their career in pharmacy. Moreover, it served as learning platform to articulate the connection among students, university and community during the COVID-19 season.



Problem-based learning (PBL) is a student-centered instructional strategy in which students collaboratively solve problems and reflect on their experiences. It has been used in the Faculty of Dentistry at UP for the past 6 years, and has been a valuable learning tool.

Characteristics of PBL include:

  • Learning is driven by challenging, open-ended, ill-defined and ill-structured problems.
  • Students generally work in collaborative groups.
  • Teachers take on the role as “facilitators” of learning.

In PBL, students are encouraged to take responsibility for their group and organize and direct the learning process with support from a facilitator. It can be used to enhance content knowledge and foster the development of communication, problem-solving, and self-directed learning skill.Many international medical and dental schools have incorporated problem-based learning into their curricula, using real patient cases to teach students how to think like a clinician. More than eighty percent of medical schools in the United States now have some form of problem-based learning in their programs. The Hong Kong dental school offers its whole program in PBL format only. Cambodia has been slow to adopt this valuable method of teaching and learning.

With the arrival of Covid-19 and the closure of UP for face-to-face learning, PBL program has had to be offered “on-line” for the first time. Although it was challenging at first, as we had to adapt it from the traditional way PBL is normally conducted, after 6 weeks we believe it is now working well. Students in year 4 are divided into 6 small on-line groups – each group is overseen by one of two facilitators (Dr Mengkheng and Dr Soksan – who have years of PBL experience themselves). Each group of students meets together on-line, visited intermittently by the facilitator. Students are assigned to individually collect information from online resources (eg dental journals and relevant websites) in order to “solve the problem” as a group. During the third session, each group presents their work as a powerpoint presentation to the facilitator and half the class.

Sometimes experts are also invited to this final session. Since online PBL is unusual and has not been reported much in the literature, the Faculty of Dentistry is undertaking a study to see how students have adaptedto it, and how they compare it with the normal method of face-to-face PBL.

We hope to present the results of our study at the next South East Asian Association of Dental Education (SEAADE) conference in Thailand at the end of this year.

CS CUP 2020 Coding Competition:


Over 156 students have registered to the CS Cup 2020 Coding competition:
High Schools: 6 participants (5 different schools)
Universities: 150 participants (21 different schools)

The University of Puthisastra is well represented with 12 participants, good luck to them!

Results from Round 1 will be released soon.

Among the problems topics of the Round 1: Equation, Combination (Maths), Algorithm optimisation, Data structures, calculation with time, data encryption, character ASCII encoding/decoding, binary numbers.

Round 2 is planned to start on the 04th June and to finish on the 07th June.

Cambodia CS Cup is an annual competitive programming competition organized by several Cambodian universities (Paragon International University, University of Puthisastra and Royal University of Phnom Penh) and partners (KhmerCoders Community, Slash, Mango Byte) where high school and university students compete against each other as individuals rather than in teams.