Thirty five years later the first assisted reproductive technology program opens in Cambodia

Dominique de Ziegler, M.D., Sokteang Sean, M.D., Antonio Pellicer, M.D.

Volume 103, Issue 5, Pages 1146-1149


In the fall of 2014, the first assisted reproductive technology (ART) program opened in Cambodia. This event took place in Phnom Penh 35 years after Cambodia emerged—in the early days of 1979—from the worst geopolitical nightmare and genocide that the world has known since the Holocaust. In nearly 4 years of abuse, the Khmer Rouge regime through active killing and starvation had exterminated a third of the country’s population, who perished in the Killing Fields. In January 1979—the nightmare suddenly over—the country stood in rags and tears, with all needing to be rebuilt from scratch while wounds healed.

  • Dominique de Ziegler

    Hi there. T

    hanks for your interest in this article recounting the opening of the 1st ART center in Cambodia 35 years after the end of the Khmer Rouge nightmare, and 35 years after the birth of Louise Brown

    Cambodia is an emerging country with a rapidly increasing middle class and an annual growth rate in excess of 7%. The founders of this clinic are offering locally treatments that were previously sought abroad through Cross Border Fertility Care (CBFC). The latter results in possible complications that the local medical facilities can’t properly handle.

    The founders of this clinic – my former fellow – are in the process of expanding their services for offering comprehensive fertility and reproductive endocrine services, including laparoscopy approaches to tubal disease when encountered in young women.

    Moreover, this clinic is projecting to team up with the University of Cambodia for training Ob-Gyn residents in fundamentals of REI.

    I personally strongly support such move in every country where there is a middle class speaking these services. This should be seen as part of a positive move toward modern medical care in the wake of a rapidly evolving growth, which stands in parallel – not in opposition – with the humanitarian help that Cambodia – a traumatized country by civil war – still needs.


    Dominique de Ziegler, MD

  • msamplaski

    I would be interested to know what the impetus for opening this center, in one of the poorest countries in the world, is. With the increasing focus on socioeconomics and fertility, the reason for this center being opened would be particularly germane.

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