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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
|Surgeries - Cataract||402|
|Procedures - Fillings||875|
Map of Cambodia