2016 CAMBODIA FIELD TRIP

13th to 28th AUGUST 2016

Writers  Mr Ted Mlynarz & Dr William Trinh


“Treat them with the CARE, RESPECT and DIGNITY”

 

From the inception of the organisation as Vietnam Vision Project (VVP) in 2003, later as Vietnam Vision Projects-Australia (VVP-A) and now Australian Health Humanitarian Aid (AHHA), the respectful treatment of all patients has been uppermost when helping those in need.

Today and into the future this respectful and dignified treatment continues.

 

 Volunteers unloading boxes at Phnom Penh airport

Volunteers unloading boxes at Phnom Penh airport

 Getting ready to upload boxes onto bus after custom check at the airport

Getting ready to upload boxes onto bus after custom check at the airport

Arriving in Phnom Penh, capital city of Cambodia, late on Saturday 13th August 2016 the team of around 60 volunteers immediately commenced organising for the first week of operations. With the help of our Cambodian partners, the Cambodian International Sight Association (CISA) and local volunteers it was all hands on deck to ensure all the planning, organizing and work over the past year was implemented to ensure the best treatment was provided to those who had waited a long time for the opportunity to be treated.

 

 Week 1 volunteers at Khmer Soviet Friendship Hospital

Week 1 volunteers at Khmer Soviet Friendship Hospital

Sunday 14th August was set-up day. With equipment arriving from Australia and Vietnam the Eye and Dental Teams quickly swung into action to establish their areas of operations to enable an early start on Monday 15th August.

Poor patients from all parts of rural Cambodia were already at the hospital waiting to be treated. Most of dental patients were children with HIV and severely disabled from many different orphanages, who have never been seen by a dentist in Phnom Penh. 

The Eye Team operated from the Khmer Soviet Friendship Hospital while the Dental Team was located at the Dental Clinic of the Dental School at Puthisastra University.

 Khmer Soviet Friendship Hospital

Khmer Soviet Friendship Hospital

 Dental School at Puthisastra University

Dental School at Puthisastra University

 

During the next three days, with regular 5.30 am wake up calls, both teams worked solidly and achieved great results. Patients came from far and wide and soon the waiting and examination rooms were full of patients being processed and readied for eye operations or dental procedures. These people are extremely poor with very sparse resources to be able to afford the procedures and surgeries.

 Assisting a patient ready for cataract surgery

Assisting a patient ready for cataract surgery

 An Australian AHHA eye surgeon performing a cataract surgery 

An Australian AHHA eye surgeon performing a cataract surgery 

 A young patient receiving dental treament

A young patient receiving dental treament

 A post cataract operation paient

A post cataract operation paient

 

After three long days the volunteers earned a well- deserved break from surgical, medical and dental operations. However, this did not stop AHHA’s work. Several volunteers took part in a Humanitarian trip to Tangav Village in Kandal Province to provide medical examinations and medication to local villagers. Three hundred villagers were provided with humanitarian parcels consisting of food and blankets while 100 students received school accessories and new uniforms.

 School children receiving gifts

School children receiving gifts

 A poor villager receiving food package from AHHA

A poor villager receiving food package from AHHA

 Food packages for the poor

Food packages for the poor

 A poor villager getting a medical checkup & medicines

A poor villager getting a medical checkup & medicines

 

Back in Phnom Penh, the Ophthalmology and Dental teams conducted seminars providing local medical and dental professionals with information on latest procedures in their areas of operation. Both seminars were enthusiastically attended with around 100 at the Ophthalmology seminar. The attendance at Dental seminar was also higher than expected.

 Ophthalmology seminar

Ophthalmology seminar

 Dental seminar

Dental seminar

 

On Saturday 20th August, a team consisting of AHHA and CISA volunteers travelled to Peamro and Prey Pdao villages (about 60 kms from Phnom Penh) to screen patients for eye conditions which may require attention.  Over 500 patients were examined of which 140 were diagnosed with cataract conditions which would require surgery. Arrangements were made to transport these to Phnom Penh for treatment during Week 2.

 Poor villagers waiting for eye screening

Poor villagers waiting for eye screening

 Eye screening for cataract surgery

Eye screening for cataract surgery

Sunday 21st August the Eye and Dental teams attended the Hospital and Dental Clinic at the University to prepare for an early start on Monday for the second week of operations. Following this, a visit to Khan Dua Penh and a nearby village where 2000 villagers of Vietnamese origin are housed provided humanitarian support and presentations to school students.

 Children in a village near khan Dua Penh

Children in a village near khan Dua Penh

 A village boy receiving food package

A village boy receiving food package

 

On Monday 22nd August it was back to the 5.30 am wake-up calls. Another three days of examinations, operations and procedures for both the Eye and Dental teams.

 Week 2 AHHA Volunteers

Week 2 AHHA Volunteers

Following the work in Cambodia, some volunteers stopped over in Vietnam where humanitarian support was provided to the poor.

Patients from all walks of life were treated and hopefully provided with a future where they can see again and become active and useful members of their village or community, and regain their self-esteem.

 Anaesthetist and medical student volunteer at work

Anaesthetist and medical student volunteer at work

 Patients waiting for post operation eye check

Patients waiting for post operation eye check

 A young cataract patient with his surgeon

A young cataract patient with his surgeon

 A happy patient after cataract operation

A happy patient after cataract operation

All operations conducted were free to the individual, made possible by the fundraising efforts of AHHA volunteers and the generosity of sponsors, supporters, donors and the community at large. 

All field trip volunteers paid their own air tickets, travelling, accommodation and catering expenses during the mission.

The assistance and enthusiasm from the CISA and local volunteers, mainly university students, was invaluable and together with our dedicated AHHA volunteers, wonderful work were accomplished to help the poor and the sick in Cambodia during 2016 mission.

We would like to especially acknowledge the support of Mr Sean Ngu of Cambodia International Sight Association (CISA), HRH Prince Tesso Sisowath and princess Sita Norodom of Cambodia, Prof Meng Ngy of Khmer Soviet Friendship hospital, Prof Callum Durward of Puthisatra University, Australian Ambassador in Cambodia Ms Angela Corcoran, Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister Ms Men Sam An and Cambodian Minister of Health Dr Nam Bunheng, Cambodian MP Ms Khoun Sodary and Cambodian MP Dr Cheam Yeap. 

 

 

Results over 2 weeks

EYE TEAM

Patients Screened 854
Surgeries - Cataract 402
                   - Pterygium 22
Total Surgeries 424
Sunglasses 2000
Prescription glasses 100
Medicines > 5000

DENTAL TEAM

Patients Screened 467
Patients Treated 359
Procedures - Fillings 875
                           - Extractions 265
Total Procedures 1140
 
 

Map of Cambodia