Supplies and Education for Rural Clinics.
Cambodia has been growing rapidly over the past few years, but still remains one of the poorest countries in East Asia. Poverty is particularly widespread in rural Cambodia, where there is limited access to quality health care and all clinics are in critical need of durable medical equipment. According to estimates from the 2018 global Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) released by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI), 35% of Cambodians are still living in poverty, with the rural population making up the majority. Around 90% of Cambodia’s impoverished population lives in rural areas. One of the greatest problems is lack of education, particularly in the impoverished countryside. Due to the war events in recent past, there are very few doctors and teachers available to educate health care providers in this rapidly developing country. It is our duty to aid the underprivileged people who live under these challenging circumstances.
In April 2018, World Dream Foundation partnered with Dr. Ann Messer, M.D., Director of One Good Turn and WDF advisor; and Tony Macie, Director of Expert Exchange to travel with the government-approved mission to improve 5 of the most rural clinics outside of Siem Reap, Cambodia. Dr. Messer, who become in 2018 a Fulbright Specialist by the United States Department of State, engaged to volunteer work medical students from the University of Puthisastra (UP), a medical school in Phnom Penh. We provided essential clinic supplies and education on their use, giving them a valuable model community clinic program. We also supplied deworming medication and vitamins to more than 6,000 people. All our protocols use World Health Organization (WHO) standards, and are thus part of a global standard of health care.
The main takeaway from our trip is that this simple mission model has been proven to improve the health and education outcomes of neglected and disadvantaged populations. It has also been shown to increase the trust and involvement of local communities with their health care centers. We found the local people to be very friendly and eager to learn. Being aware of the desperate need for improvement, they were willing to work and partner with us to better their living conditions.
Today Cambodia remains one of the poorest countries in Asia, where health and education continue to be important challenges. Together, we have the potential to improve and transform the lives of the people who need it most. WDF will continue our efforts in making positive changes in the world and provide ongoing help to the people of Cambodia.