There’s definitely a promising future for the pharmaceutical sector of Cambodia as students from six different institutions showed off their research outputs during last week’s 2018 Kinal Prize.
Last Saturday, three groups of medical students were awarded after besting other groups in presenting significant and well-executed research on the main theme, “Fever: Care and Medication” at the French institute of Cambodia.
The 2018 Kinal Prize was given to the group that focused on “the study of medicinal plants in fever treatment among elders in Kandeong Thum Village, Kandeong Commune, Bati District in Takeo Province”. The group comprises four pharmaceutical students from the International University and two medical students from the University of Puthisastra.
Sea Ralin, 20-year-old student from IU, said that her group is glad to have been awarded the first prize despite the hardships that they encountered during the research process. She shared that since some of their group’s members are from other academic institutions, it was hard for them to set a specific time to gather and discuss.
“After our proposal was approved, we took a motorbike to the province (Takeo) to see the real situation of the people. We learned about the difference of learning in paper and in real-life scenarios. We were very eager to learn about how the people in the province manage to cure their illnesses. We went there every morning for almost a week. After a whole morning there, we went back to our respective schools,” said Ralin.
She further shared that she had been planning to do the research for the competition since 2017, but she didn’t have a chance to join last year. She firmly believes that there’s greater and wider learning when one goes out on field and holds research rather than merely relying on books for theories. The competition, she said, was a good avenue for her to discover actual happenings in the society.
A group of students from University of Health Science got the second prize in the competition with their topic on “Ethnobotany of traditional plants for fever treatment and care management in Kampong Speu Province”.
Pheourn Sopheaktra, a Year 4 student of UHS, said that his group did extensive preparation for the competition. They met six days a week to share their ideas and come up with a unified concept for the research.
“Doing research is also about learning new things about certain subjects. Having this research paper is important for students because not everything that we need to know can be found in books. As education has evolved along with technology, so does the way we learn and acquire knowledge,” shared 20-year-old Sopheaktra, who was a newbie to the competition.
The third prize was given to a group of students from IU and UHS. The group presented their output on “A cross-sectional study of medication errors of antipyretic use in children at community pharmacy, Kompong Cham Province”. Represented by Chhit Minea of UHS, the team experienced difficulties during the start of the research process as they didn’t know each other before the competition. The fact that some are studying in a different university was also a struggle. But after they tried to understand each other’s capabilities and limitations, they built a strong foundation for their team.
“Other four members in my group are from IU and they are also studying in Year 5. I am in Year 3 now. We prepared documents and proposals. After that, we asked for permission for the judges to proceed with the research proper in the province.
“I was really inspired by my teacher to join the competition without thinking too much if I’d fail or win. I just really wanted to learn from the research and from the experience. I can say that young people should join this competition because it will give them more knowledge,” said Minea.
The Kinal Prize, established in 2013 by the Pharma Product Manufacturing (PPM), is a competition encouraging Cambodian students in the field of health sciences to conduct research in accordance to international scientific standards. The competition aims to develop Cambodian students’ full potential in their field of specialisation. It is also designed to improve scientific research in the kingdom.
For this year, 26 groups of students from different schools competed for the prize and recognition.