Field Trip to Cambodia, Feb 2018
Writer Mr Ted Miynarz
The charitable work of volunteers is a never ending task.
People all over the world are suffering from illness, poverty and natural disasters. They are in dire need of any assistance which can be provided. Australian Health Humanitarian Aid (AHHA) has now been operating for 15 years and takes up any opportunity to help those in need.
During February 2018, a small team of AHHA volunteers travelled to Cambodia to continue the charitable work as well as engage in planning and organising facilities for the upcoming annual field trip in August 2018, when over 100 volunteers will travel from Australia to continue helping those in need.
The team, consisting of Dr William Trinh, Stephanie Wong, Billy Cheng (Trinh), Charles Hili, Ian Brookes and Ted Mlynarz arrived in Phnom Penh on Monday 12th February 2018. Prior arrangements had been made to visit several facilities and conduct meetings important to the future work of AHHA.
Two field trips took place, the first, to a village called Toul Chher Neang about 100 kms west of Phnom Penh, in the Aoral District of Kampong Speu Province. Screening of 120 families was conducted with around 30 cataract conditions requiring surgery. Water filtering kits were also assembled and distributed.
The second trip was to a very remote/isolated village in Kandal Province consisting of Vietnamese displace people. Fresh water is usually trucked in for purchase by the villagers. The water filtering kits will provide self sufficiency and provide financial relief. Further kits were distributed to a village called Cho Let Det, which is so remote the bus was not able to proceed the final 7 kms and was met by senior village members who accepted the kits and carried them to the village.
In all, around 400 water filtering kits were distributed.
The screening, water filter kit distribution and meetings would not have been possible without the assistance of the Khmer Sight Foundation and its volunteers. Their co-operation and hard work during this trip are very much appreciated.
A visit to the new Medical Facility where future cataract operations will take place also took place.
- University of Health Sciences (UHS) – met with Prof. Saphonn Vonthanak, Rector, discussed collaboration with future AHHA and Khmer Sight Foundation (KSF) work and possible medical scholarship for disadvantaged students.
- University of Puthisastra – met with Professor Callum Durwood discussed continued collaboration and possible dental scholarships for disadvantaged students.
- Brien Holden Vision Institute – visited/toured the centre with view of future collaboration.
- Raffles Medical Centre – discussed availability of medical facilities and services for volunteers who may become seriously ill or injured during future field trips.