Founder of Kantha Bopha Foundation Passes Away at the Age of 71

AKP Phnom Penh, September 09, 2018 —

Dr. Beat Richner, the founder of Kantha Bopha Foundation, passed away at the age of 71 in Zurich on Sept. 9, 2018 at 2:45 am (local time in Zurich), said the Foundation in an announcement.

“He did not have time to realise his dream of a peaceful retirement devoted to opera and arts, after a lifetime of unflinching commitment to sick children in Switzerland and Cambodia,” added the announcement.

Dr. Beat Richner resigned from his position as President of Kantha Bopha Children’s Hospitals and returned to his country, Switzerland, in 2017 due to serious health problem.

According to the same source, pediatrician, virtuoso cellist Beatocello, Dr. Beat Richner left everything in 1992 to follow the call of the former King of Cambodia, Norodom Sihanouk, who asked him to rebuild the children’s hospital of Phnom Penh, destroyed by the Khmer Rouge regime.

In 25 years, the Swiss Doctor has built and run five children’s hospitals in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap where he fought with great success for a revolutionary new approach to medical aid in poor countries: offering correct medicine, free for all.

Dr Richner regularly gave concerts in Switzerland to present his work and solicit donations. Thanks to the generosity of thousands of Swiss donors, large and small, he has been able to treat, operate and vaccinate millions of children. Hundreds of thousands of children have been saved from a certain death in hospitals that are now run by Cambodian doctors and staff, trained by him and Swiss professors.

This perennial work, which has become the central pillar of the Cambodian health system, is now considered by international experts as the best example of effective assistance in the field of health.

The first Kantha Bopha Children’s Hospital was opened on Sept. 22, 1992, the second in October 1996, the third in May 1999, the fourth in December 2005 and the fifth in December 2007.

The four Kantha Bopha Children’s Hospitals in Phnom Penh and the Jayavarman VII Children’s Hospital in Siem Reap province have been being supported by the Cambodian and Swiss governments as well as many other local and foreign charitable people.

By C. Nika