Progress on my Project to Develop Family Medicine in Cambodia
05/02/13 23:10 Filed in: Family Medicine | The David Whittet Foundation | Wonca | Wonca Foundation Award
A Cambodian girl contemplates her lot in life on top of a water buffalo.
I began the project to develop family medicine in rural Cambodia at the request of a group of professors of general practice in rural Cambodia who were keen to use the model we had developed in India. Initial research suggested striking similarities in the health needs of the project area in India and the proposed communities in Cambodia. Our plan was to again use open air mobile clinics to reach a maximum number of people with minimal set up costs.
Regrettably, many of the factors which worked so strongly in our favour in India are proving obstacles in Cambodia. Securing access to suitable sites for the mobile clinics and most significantly recruiting local medical staff is difficult. I have a great team of enthusiastic volunteers, but for the project to be sustainable, it is essential that the service is provided by local health professionals. We are working on incentives and a recruitment campaign so that we can address this issue.
The Samrong Tong region is one of the poorest in Cambodia with many children below the absolute poverty level. It is vital to improve the health and quality of life of some of the most disadvantaged people on our planet.