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Monday, March 10, 2008

Volunteers going overseas for Operation Smile

Dr. Alice Smith of Coralville will be among more than 50 volunteers traveling to Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Thursday to March 21 with Operation Smile to provide free treatment to children born with facial deformities.

The volunteer team consists of more than 50 medical and non-medical volunteers from Australia, Cambodia, Canada, Italy, the Netherlands, Peru, the Philippines, Singapore and the United States.

Founded in 1982, Operation Smile is a worldwide children's medical charity dedicated to helping improve the health and lives of children and young adults.

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Cambodia to form committee to check on quality of medicines

PHNOM PENH, March 10 (Xinhua) -- Around 30 leaders from Cambodia's various pharmaceutical organizations have agreed that a Pharmacy Accreditation Committee must be formed this year to keep check on the quality and validity of medicines sold through the kingdom's growing number of pharmacies, local media reported Monday.

"Among our many challenges are keeping check on the quality of medical products sold and an overall improvement in the quality of health services, so a Pharmacy Accreditation Committee is needed," Yim Yann, president of the Pharmacist's Association of Cambodia, was quoted by the Mekong Times as saying.

The Pharmacy Accreditation Committee, to be supervised by the Health Ministry's Department of Drugs and Food, will assess whether pharmacies reach a standard called "Good Pharmacy Practice," said Yim Yann, with those up to scratch receiving of facial accreditation .

The rapidly increasing circulation of medicines is hampering efforts to control the sector, Sok Pheng, Under Secretary of State for the Health Ministry, said, adding that drug traders with no medical knowledge often conspire with dishonest traders to circulate fake medicines.

Although relevant laws are enforced, most pharmacies are substandard so contraband, counterfeit, inferior, unregistered and expired drugs still sit on pharmacy shelves, he said.

Mao Dareth, deputy president of the Pharmacist Association of Cambodia, said that there are about 1,300 pharmacies throughout the country, nearly 500 of which are in Phnom Penh.
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