Today UP celebrated our new partnership with a group of Japanese dentists who have offered their support for our dental department and clinic over the next 5 years.  Under the Denriche Asia Co. Ltd, 34 very experienced dentists from the Sharaku Group in Japan, have volunteered to come to UP in small groups next year to provide intermittent teaching to our students, both in the clinic and the lecture-room.

Ms Ai Yamazaki, Director of Denriche Asia in Cambodia and Dr Norihiro Watanabe, President of the Sharaku Group in Japan, are the leaders of the team. Today 8 Japanese dentists were awarded titles of “Visiting Lecturer”, and tomorrow 14 more will receive their certificates.

Prior to the award ceremony, our senior students were divided into three groups, with one group having a lecture, one group a demonstration in the SIM Lab, and one group a clinical demonstration in the UP Dental Clinic.  Each group was taught by the visiting dentists.

Following this, an Award Ceremony was conducted in Hall H, attended by Dr Anbin Ezhilan, Vice-President for International Affairs (representing the President Mr Chankrisna), and other UP staff and students.  A group of dental students performed a traditional dance for the visitors, and speeches were made by Dr Anbin Ezhilan, Dr Callum Durward (Head of Dentistry), Ms Ai Yamazaki, and Mr Norihiro Watanabe.  To conclude, certificates and gifts were awarded to each of the Japanese volunteer dentists, and a donation was made to UP by Dr Watanabe. 

This project will have many benefits.  Firstly, the visiting Japanese dentists can share with our students up-to-date information about dentistry, and help our students to carry out high-quality treatment, ultimately making them into better dentists.

Secondly, the support provided by Sharaku will ensure that our students have a sufficient number of patients to treat, and can fulfill their clinical requirements.  All dental schools in Cambodia face the problem of finding enough patients for students to treat, so the project will be of enormous help in this area. 

Thirdly, the project allows UP to reach out to vulnerable groups in society, such as orphans and the poor, who normally have no access to dental care.  One of UP’s core values is to help others, and so we are very happy to work with our Japanese partners to provide much-needed dental care to those most in need through this project. 

Today marks the beginning of a journey of the two partners together, one which we hope will be long and fruitful.  This project could not have happened without the leadership of Ms Ai Yamazaki and Mr Yushi from Denriche, Dr Watanabe from the Sharaku organization, and our own UP management team under the leadership of Mr Sok Puthivuth (Chairman) and Mr Chankrisna (President).  This project is another way UP can help fulfill its aim of helping to Develop Cambodian Society.