The week went quickly- returning to the same province and towns allows us to see what has changed over the years and what stays the same. Always lovely, the expansive Mekong River and the gorgeous sunsets, scooter traffic on the road along the river and the energy of the market. Many changes at the hospital compound as well as the Cambodian government invests in health care. Cheryl and Meghan were impressed with the amount of infrastructure that is being built in the province. There is emphasis on ob/gyn care as well as a focus on malaria.
Bill Housworth provided a great deal of information on the steps that are needed to be appropriately registered in Cambodia to provide medical care, guidance on the new protocols for treatment instituted by the government and many details on how he is setting up the pediatric clinic. He also provided 2 Cambodian physicians who worked with Cheryl and Meghan during the 3 clinics they held during the week. They saw first-hand what we do in our clinics and the protocols that Cheryl has developed. They also participated in seeing patients.
Since this was a short trip, Cheryl and Meghan set up the clinics while they were there. They worked directly with the leadership of the Island (we have gone there for the past 4 years) to set up a clinic for the residents. There is no health care on the island which is a ferry ride across the Mekong from Kratie. The island is one of our favorite locations and we have always had great support from the Chief. No one gets tired of that moto ride across the sand and up the hill all the while clutching bags of supplies. The island is peaceful, no cars and mostly people walking or riding bikes and many chickens crossing the road.
They also held two clinics at the Kratie Hospital. Again, the focus was hypertension and diabetes. Can you just imagine heading down to the local radio station to make an announcement about the clinics to everyone in the community? Who knows how many people will come? Amazingly, the small but mighty Team saw 132 patients at the Kratie Clinics and 131 at the Island clinic for a total of 263 people!
Our next steps are to develop a plan for the remainder of 2017 and onward and to come up with a fund raising plan. We will consider setting up a clinic to provide care to adult patients with diabetes and hypertension and have been told that it should be located near the Kratie Hospital. We have some ideas for potential locations and feel that one of the physicians that worked with Cheryl and Meghan is a potential candidate to be our part time physician.