Monday, 24 January 2011

Mobile Clinic goes to Battambang

We have just received the following report from Annie, one of the Directors of One-2-One, which provides free dental and medical treatment to the poor of Cambodia. CamKids is funding the MOBILE Swift projects which travels to remote parts of Cambodia to treat children who would otherwise not have access to any medical or dental care. Annie's report follows:

Thanks to Camkids, the MOBILE Swift went to Battambong from the 13th to the 17th December 2010. The team treated the deaf and blind children of the Krousar Thmey Foundation in the Provincial townships of Battambong and Sisophon.

The team comprised 13 dental students, 5 support staff from One-2-One and 2 dentists from Austalia - Dr Nathan and Dr Shu’an Hu. In total, the team treated 233 children. A typical day was as follows:

8:00AM – 5.00PM. Treated 69 children: 56 extractions, 129 fillings, 39 sealants, 19 Duraphat applications, 10 scaling (by hand), 82 silver fluoride treatments. Dispensed 250 tablets of Paracetamol, 690 tablets of Multivitamins, 135 tablets of Amoxicillin, 10 tablets of Ibuprofen and gave out 69 toothpaste/toothbrushes.

During this visit, One-2-One also ran health education classes for the local community, at the Krousar Thmey School in Battambang.

Classes were held every afternoon from 2pm till 4.30pm and were for teachers and teacher aides - ranging from 12 to 20 students at a time. Basic topics were covered included basic personal hygiene, fever control, control of diarrhoea, treatment of burns and oral hygiene. The teachers were very eager to learn and enjoyed the class discussion. The highlights were the many laughs had when practising basic first aid, wound care and stabilising broken bones.

The school was a very warm and inviting place. As a team we thoroughly enjoyed our time there. The children and staff were excited to teach us sign language, they were very patient as we made many mistakes. At the end of our week at Battambang, both students and teachers asked when we would return. The head teacher asked if we could return every 6 months, so they are very keen to have us back. According to the teachers, all of the children were treated for their most urgent dental need. Dr Shu’An and Dr Nathan were both moved by the courage and the resilience of the wonderful children who had put up so much for so long. It is our hope that we will be able to return to focus on prevention care.

Most of the children had not had any dentistry before, due to the significant challenges of distance and their co-morbidity. The smiles on their face said it all. We felt thanked beyond measures. We felt honoured to be able to do what is, in our culture, a relatively simple procedure - yet, until we came, was out of reach. Now the children are pain free, able to concentrate at school, sleep well at night and enjoy their meals.

Thank you CamKids for making this trip happen.

CamKids and One-2-One are currently seeking donors to help fund the next phase of our rural dental health strategy. This involves equipping 2 nurses to travel to remote locations in order to give primary treatment (focusing on pain relief) to children who would not otherwise have access to any dental services. More serious cases would be reported back for future visits by the MOBILe team. Details of the proposal can be found HERE. The cost of equipment and initial supplies for 2 nurses is approximately £3,000 and the annual salary, travel, accommodation and food costs for both nurses will be approximately £7,000 per annum. The nurses will spend 10 days a month (half their time) in the provinces and the other half working in the Ta Kmao clinic or other community projects which CamKids is funding. It is expected that around 3,000 children in remote locations will be relieved from the terrible agony of dental pain, at a cost of just over £1 per child.

If you are are interested in making a donation to help us extend this extremely valuabe work, if you know any companies or organisations which might be interested or if you have dental or medical skills and are planning a trip to Cambodia and would like to join the team on some of the visits, please email us.