By Dr Nina Lau Lee Jing, MRCOG
ICOE Trainer, OGSM

After a 3-year break from COVID-19, OGSM and AOFOG in collaboration with Cambodian Society of Gynecology and Obstetric has recommenced the 9th Intensive Course of Obstetric Emergencies (ICOE) in Cambodia on 9 to 12 February 2023. The Malaysian team consisted of 5 trainers – Dr Tang Boon Nee (ICOE course director), Dr Michael Hoong (the team leader), Dr Khoo Kong Beng, Dr Woon Shu Yuan and Dr Nina Lau as well as Mr Baskeran, the admin liaison and the master of all equipment and mannequins. This is a returning trip for all the trainers but me. I was very excited as it was my first overseas trip since the COVID-19 pandemic and my first time visiting Cambodia.

On 8th February, half of the Malaysian trainers (Dr Michael, Dr Woon and myself) flew in from Borneo to Kuala Lumpur and stayed overnight at Tune Hotel KLIA2. We met at the KLIA airport at 7am the following day. We were pampered as Mr Baskeran had prepared everything beforehand – pre-weighed and securely wrapped a total of 120kg luggage full of equipment and mannequins, typed item list in each luggage to ease the custom checking, printed individual letters for immigration clearance and boarding passes. The check-in and immigration clearance went smoothly and we landed safely at Phnom Penh at 11am 09 February 2023.

We travelled straight to the National Maternal and Child Center, which is 10km away from the airport. Phnom Penh was full of vibrance and energy in the midst of colonial, old and new modern architecture. After 30 minutes of sightseeing through the window, we reached our destination safely. We immediately set up the venue for ICOE course and pre-skill test stations. After lunch, we met up with seven local Cambodian trainers. Everyone was thrilled to reconnect physically after 3 years. We went through the pre-skill stations one-by-one. A rest station was added in the pre-skill test stations to accommodate for 27 participants during the ICOE course instead of the usual 24. The local trainers were assigned different lectures such as risk management, team management and handling bad outcomes and Dr Kim Lumpiny was elected as the team leader. The local trainers and Malaysian trainers were paired up for different breakout stations. The discussion for the run-down of the 2 days course went smoothly. We checked in at Sor Hotel and enjoyed a pleasant dinner at Sisowath Quay. The relaxing breeze along Tonle Sup River, the scrumptious food and chit chat through dinner time perfectly wrapped up the first day.

Group photo before departure to Phnom Penh, 9th Feb 2023
Setting up for pre-skill test stations  at the National Maternal and Child Center
Setting up for pre-skill test stations at the National Maternal and Child Center
Trainer Refresher Course on 9th February 2023
Trainer Refresher Course on 9th February 2023