Methodist Medical and Mission (MM&M) commissioned fifteen team members to Cambodia for a Medical Mission trip from 28 December 2015 to 8th January 2016. The team included a majority of medical and health practitioners, medical students and volunteers; split into two teams.
During the first week, the two teams would drive out to reach two separate villages each day. A basic medical clinic was set up in the local community at a church and local people in the village were invited to receive medical treatment.
The surrounding environment of the medical clinics varied from bushland to wooden walls and tin roofs to large tiled church halls. Local volunteers including church members (approximately 8-10 at peak) offered their assistance to the medical team with translation as well as child care taker whilst medical consultation with patients are in progress.
Approximately 40-50 patients with varying health conditions were seen in each village every day. Recommendation of further hospital treatment is made where required, MM&M also facilitated and assisted with transfer of local hospital treatment.
To promote welfare, social interaction and where possible, the non-medical personnel & translators assisted in the children care taker program with games, basic English and Khmer (local language) songs. The children were eager to learn English and participated in art and craft activities. Approximately 30-60 children attended the program every day and many returned to the afternoon session following lunch at home.
During the second week, one team attended a visit to a hospital in Battambang whilst the other team continued medical clinic field work in a local village. The team members participated in observation of ward rounds and Dr Wesley was invited to perform two urology operations during the visits. Seminars were presented to the staff at the hospital on basic life support and dental care. MM&M presented a donation of USD 2,000 to the director of the hospital to support the funding of a new concrete road used to access the hospital facility.
One team was invited to present an all-day seminar at the International University in Battambang to a cohort of nursing students. The lectures included the role of allied health, cardiac chest pain, post-op care and basic life support followed by a practical workshop. The directors and students expressed their gratitude to the team by presented scarves, words of thanks by staff and students, and a certificate of appreciation.
All team members participated in a debrief session at the conclusion of the medical ministry to discuss cross-cultural experiences. The team members expressed significant impact the experiences and local people had on them personally.
Many team members were particularly touched by a 7 year old girl who attended the medical clinic with a 41.9 degree temperature. The team noticed she was not accompanied by an adult and later discovered that she was abandoned by her mother and is now living with her grandmother and teenage uncle who was suspected to be addicted to drugs. The team offered assistance of basic necessity of shoes, a shirt and jeans to share our love to the girl.
Several team members stated that they would like to return to Cambodia for future medical mission trips. We were grateful for this opportunity to learn from Cambodia and to love these people.