UP VOICE VOL.49 – October 2020

The Official Newsletter of the University of Puthisastra (UP)-Vol.49 October 2020 Download

Welcome back to UP!

21st September 2020 marks the first day of UP reopening to all students and staff. UP is one of the first universities in Cambodia allowed to reopen. We are very happy welcoming both students and staff back to campus.

Our return to campus marks a move into a new era of teaching and learning. Fortunately, UP has led the way in Cambodia with online learning and we will continue to do so, because providing students with the best possible education remains our number one priority.

At UP, we formed a committee dedicated to develop guideline and excellent implementation of the new Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) and other health, hygiene and safety measures required by the Ministry and Royal Government of Cambodia.

” This is my impression about coming back to UP. To be honest, UP has changed a lot in the classroom, clinic, lab and even the campus parking area. I notice security guard strictly check the temperature and tell students to wear mask before entering the premise. Plus, they always remind us not to forget from protecting the covid 19 by placing the sign on the wall, told us to always do hand hygien. This is what I have seen so far. Eventhough, It is new to me or it feel like a lot to do before entering to the campus, I feel safe and well protected after I follow all the university’s new rules and regulations.” Said Chheur Heng Chan Pupler Leap, Dentistry Student, Year 3.

The reopening process has been a collaborative one that has involved the Deans, Heads of Departments and the whole UP management team, consulting with professionals at Ministry level, including the Ministry of Health (MoH) and the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports (MoEYS). Our plans are comprehensive indicating UP’s expertise when it comes to ensuring the safety of everyone.


Second Annual UP Careers Expo 2020

The University of Puthisastra (UP) is proud to host its 2nd Careers Expo, a university-wide Careers Conference involving staff and students across all faculties. The Careers Expo 2020 demonstrates UP’s commitment towards strengthening its partnerships with international as well as domestic brand names, from both the healthcare and Information & Communication Technologies (ICT) industries. It also showcases UP graduates who are job ready from day one following graduation.

This Expo is designed to introduce and connect UP graduates with potential employers, who are outstanding brand names in their respective industries. The Careers Expo will feature workshops, a discussion forum and a jobs fair. In the workshops, the following topics will be covered: interview skills, developing quality Curriculum Vitae (CV’s), as well as a range of important employment skills and essential soft skills such as critical thinking and communication, and professional networking.

Other workshops will also present aspects of work life in local and multinational companies, and a panel discussion to help the graduates understand the recruitment criteria of potential employers, enabling UP graduates to get the best jobs and the highest salaries in their fields. These are extremely valuable platforms that will align graduates’ aspirations and job expectations with those of the prospective employers.

The forum will also provide information about the current industry trends, to guide job seekers towards making the best possible decision for their future careers. This expo is open to everyone and free of charge! Join now through the link provided: bit.ly/upcareerexporegis See you on 3rd October 2020!

UP Students Are Happy With Online Learning Equipment

With the current challenge of COVID-19, UPs management and staff are committed to facilitate the new way of learning to make sure classes can continue to run in Foundation Year and above. Faculty teams, together with colleagues from Information Technology Services and the Quality, Learning and Teaching, and Students (QILTS) Department are working together to ensure that our students’ learning is interrupted as little as possible by the necessary restrictions of movement to control the spread of COVID-19.

The introduction of UPOP – UP’s own online learning system – during this time is critical and extremely beneficial for our students. UP also provides many new equipment in response to the new way of learning including powerful laptops for students in E-learning center allow our students to take their classes in an efficient virtual environment.

UP has also upgraded the internet connection to facilitate a smooth conversation between students and teachers and ensure effective learning processes. Recently, UP introduced an online learning “visualizer” that allows our lecturers to project an image of an object, documents or pictures and broadcast it to the entire online platform via UPOP and google meets either to students in class or hundreds of kilometers away.

UPOP has proved very popular with both lecturers and students, making learning all the more enjoyable by providing a range of learning options, and providing opportunities to re-visit previous lessons to reinforce learning. Yet another example of UP’s modern way of learning using blended and flipped learning which are being used by all the top universities worldwide. Our objective is to provide modern, worlds best practice learning and teaching via flexibility and student-centered modes of teaching.

There is no better time to be studying at UP!

Faculty Of Medicine Theses Defences Continue

Following their three colleagues who defended their thesis online early in August 2020, fifteen additional MD students have successfully defended their Theses online.

The titles were: “Retrospective study of the epidemiology and clinical manifestations of dengue in adults at Kampong Cham Provincial Hospital”; “Epidemiology, clinical aspect and post-treatment evaluation in patients with liver abscesses at Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital”; “Clinical and laboratory features of late onset neonatal sepsis at the National Pediatric Hospital”; “Retrospective study of the histological patterns of thyroid diseases at the Pathology Department of the Cambodia-China Friendship Preah Kossamak Hospital”; “Prevalence of dyspepsia in patients with oesophagogastroduodenoscopy performed at the Department of Gastroenterology, Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital”.

Congratulations to all the students and grateful thanks to Dr. Chhim Sarath, Dr. Chuon Channarena and all the colleagues who examined the theses!

Dental Students Return To The Simulation Laboratory

Year 3 dental students have returned to the Dental Simulation Laboratory to learn the basics of operative dentistry. Each student had to attend an online training session about COVID-19 precautions before commencing their study.

Over the next few weeks students will need to carry out a wide range of clinical procedures in the lab (and some on each other), including cavity preparations and fillings, rubber dam placement, dental radiography, extraction techniques, sealant placement, scaling and polishing, injection techniques and suturing. Each student has a set of necessary instruments and supplies to use, and must complete all tasks to the required standard in order to start treating patients in Semester 1 of Year 4. Because of COVID-19, the number of students in the lab at one time has been reduced, and students need to wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) as well as practicing social distancing. Cleaning of the workspace is required after every session, and frequent hand-cleaning is a must.

The students have made a good start and are learning new skills very quickly thanks to our expert team of SIM Lab Tutors, led by Cambodia’s only specialist in Restorative Dentistry, Dr Soy Rasy.

Laboratory Practice Reopened at the Faculty of Pharmacy

UP reopened for laboratory practice from 14 September 2020 (and fully on 21st September). Five laboratories are used for pharmacy practical sessions and strictly follow the MoEYS standard operational procedure (SOP) and UP guidelines for Reopening during COVID-19.

COVID-19 has disrupted all levels of education in Cambodia for the last 6 months leading to long term challenges for our country. Although many schools sought distance learning opportunities there has been concern about the quality of education and the lack of participation between teachers and students. Many students also worried about students’ decreasing quality of education due to this 6 months loss of time.

This is why UP has actively sought to minimize disruption by opening physical (but socially distanced) classes as soon as possible, rapidly implementing online learning and working hard to ensure that students are supported and feel that they belong.

With the effective prevention measures for COVID-19 taken by the Ministry of Health, Cambodia’s infection rate has decreases rapidly resulting in only 277 cases, zero deaths and only two active cases – an excellent result. This has provided the Government with a great opportunity to consider rebalancing to promote economic growth.

COVID-19 disruption has meant that September is different to what is usually is. September should be a time where some students spend their time with their family whilst undertake volunteer jobs or internship inside and outside Cambodia instead of spending time in UP laboratories! Now, students are required to return to school to complete their practical work courses such as Toxicology PW, Metabolic Biochemistry PW, Applied Bacteriology PW, Organic Chemistry PW, Inorganic Chemistry PW etc., which were suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Faculties, students and staff must follow requirements in school reopening guideline by keep social distancing around campus, avoiding congestion, wearing proper personal protective equipment (PPE), scanning temperature and hand sanitizing every checking points, obeying message/sign/ signage across the campus etc. All laboratories are regularly disinfected to prevent COVID-19.

Consequently, students are able to practice under the safe leaning environment. Even though COVID-19 infection keeps increasing across the world, education at UP is still progressing and moving forward.

UP Nursing Students in Internship in Hospitals

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSNY4) and Associate Degree in Nursing (ADNY2 & ADNY3) students from UP are completing their practicums across different hospitals in Phnom Penh. These hospitals are the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital, National Pediatric Hospital, Community Medical Centre, Sihanouk Hospital Centre of Hope, and the Kossamak Hospital.

Forty-five BSNY4 students are doing their three-month internship. The internship practicum is the last one before students sit their final exams and become professional nurses. By the end of this practicum they should be practicing with enough confidence, knowledge and skills to be competent new graduates.

There are also 16 students from the ADN program who are doing their clerkship which is an 8 week clinical practicum for their year. Both groups of students were accompanied to their respective hospitals by Faculty of Nursing Clinical Instructors who have a strong professional relationship with each hospital facility. The Clinical Instructors visit the hospitals during the students’ practicum to monitor and encourage students in their progress, and work with them on cases they are caring for in practice.

A major role of the Clinical Instructor is also to liaise closely with nurse managers and preceptors as well as other hospital authorities to ensure a collaboration that is focused on the quality of the students’ placements.

During students’ practicum they will rotate to different areas of the hospital to gain a well-rounded set of experiences. It is expected that they will be using all of their nursing knowledge and skills, learned through their nursing education to provide a high quality of care to patients and their families. It is also expected that they will develop the behaviors and professionalism required of nursing students about to graduate into their chosen profession.

UP Laboratory Sciences alumni Quotes

Full name: Nop Daliya
Majoring at UP: Medical Laboratory Technology
Current workplace: U.S. Naval Medical Research Unit 2 (NAMRU2)
Work experience: – Namru2: Interned as Research Assistant.
– Institut Pasteur du Cambodge: Lab technician in Epidemiology-Malaria Unit.
– Namru2: work as Entomology Molecular biology technician.

“You can’t just stay still and achieve your goals. You need to make a run for it.”

UP Laboratory Sciences alumni Quotes

Full name: Prak Sothea
Majoring at UP: Medical Laboratory Technology
Current workplace: Cambodia Oxford Medical Research Unit (COMRU)/ Angkor Hospital for Children
Work experience: – 2017 to 2019: worked at Biomed Siem Reap.
– Present: working as microbiology technician at Cambodia Oxford Medical
Research Unit/ Angkor Hospital for Children

“The best view comes after the hardest climb!”

Second Online Dentistry Thesis Defence

This week saw a second group of dental students undertake their online thesis defence and the seventh group of Faculty of Dentistry students overall, to successfully pass. The defence was organized using the Google Meet platform and was chaired by our Director of Research, Dr Tineke Water. Other examiners were Dr Chher Tepirou (Chief Dental Officer at the Ministry of Health), Dr Tort Borany (Lecturer at UP) and Assistant Professor Soeun Sopharith (Deputy Dean of Dentistry). The candidates received a grade of “Pass With Credit” for their thesis completions.

Title Of The Thesis: Acceptability Of SDF By Children And Parents In Cambodia.
Students: KHY Daravuth, KONG BUNLY, CHEA Senghuy.
Supervised By: Dr TAK Ranuch and Adjunct Professor Callum DURWARD.
Thesis Examiners: Dr Tineke WATER (Chair), Assistant. Professor SOEUN Sopharith, Dr CHHER Tepirou, and Dr. TORT Borany.

Background: Silver Diamine Fluoride (SDF) is becoming increasingly popular for arresting caries in primary teeth in Cambodia and around the world. However the dark discoloration of the treated carious lesions is a disadvantage that may affect the acceptability of the technique.

Aim of Study:
To explore the perceptions of Cambodian children and parents on the discoloration caused by SDF application on caries in primary teeth.

A cross-sectional study was conducted using a convenience sample of 150 children who had received SDF treatment (and their parents) from Hun Neang primary school in Phnom Penh. Following informed consent from their parents, children in grades 5 and 6 were recruited into the study. The children were asked about their understanding of SDF, their experiences during application, their perceptions of the dark staining, and whether they would be happy to have it applied again in the future. Their parents were then interviewed by telephone about their children’s dental health, their understanding of SDF, and their perceptions on the acceptability of SDF and its discoloration.

150 child-parent pairs consented to participate in the study. The mean age of the children was 12 years old. 80.7% of the children said they were happy to have their teeth painted with the SDF, while only 50.7% had noticed that after treatment their cavities became black. Only 32.0% expressed concern about the black color and only 18.7% said that someone had noticed or commented on the black color of their teeth. Among the parents, 90.0% were aware that SDF had been applied to their child’s teeth. However, only 38.7% understood the purpose of applying SDF clearly. 76.0% found the discoloration acceptable.

Most children and parents believed that SDF was a beneficial way of stopping dental caries’ progression, and few were concerned about the black discoloration.