2014 HEALTH AWARD
Friends Without a Border
Laos and Cambodia
Kenro Izu first encountered Cambodia’s appalling lack of pediatric healthcare when he met children suffering from a variety of disabilities and illnesses during a photography trip in 1993. Tragically, he witnessed a young girl die in front of his eyes in the regional hospital. Her life was cut short because her parents could not pay the $2 needed to treat her. The hospital and the doctors of the hospital left the girl alone without providing any treatment.
Determined to stop this horror from ever happening again, he undertook a campaign to build a pediatric teaching hospital with international standards. He realized that just sending in teams of medical personnel from time to time would not solve the fundamental issues — a long-term solution was needed. In 1999, the Angkor Hospital for Children opened its doors. Subsequently, satellite clinics were opened as a model of locally sustainable healthcare.
Since then, his organization Friends Without A Border (FWAB) has treated over 1.2 million children and provided advanced training to thousands of health workers. On February 11, 2015, a similar state-of-the-art pediatric teaching hospital in Laos was completed an opened to the public. Funding from World of Children supports FWAB in constructing and equipping this new hospital (the Lao Friends Hospital for Children) in Laos.