The PPSC Rose Medical Elective Program is newly established although Rose has had experience in providing a medical elective program in the past. Our star Surgeon, Dr Nous Sarom has moved to become the Head of Surgery at the Preah Mettokelea Surgical Centre (PPSC) at the Military Hospital in Phnom Penh. Dr Sarom has had a long history with Rose and we have adapted our program to follow this wonderful surgeon and teacher. The Program is now being administered by Ms Sophak Chim who has excellent organisational skills and fantastic written English. She is managing our complicated schedule and ensuring that students receive communication from Cambodia upon receiving their email enquiries. Obviously being a new program there will be teething problems but we hope that the program will evolve to be a leading elective program in Cambodia, especially with the assistance of great feedback from the students! … read more…
This is the story of two women. One woman uses a piece of clean string and a clean razor blade. With it she saves, scores, hundreds, probably thousands of lives. The people she saves are mothers and their babies. The mothers have given birth where there is no medical assistance. Lack of hygiene, lack of knowledge, even some traditional practices in severing the umbilical cord provide the fertile conditions for infection. Sometimes mud or even cow dung are used to apply to the raw ends of the cord. The clean string is used simply to tie the cord and the sterile blade to cut it. .
Now the woman makes up cheap kits. They simply contain instructions, soap, sterile string and blade and some. All it takes to save two lives is a clean pad, soap, razor blade, a length of string and a set of illustrated instructions. Each kit will save 2 lives. The kits are quietly distributed to where they are needed thoughout the world.
The other woman who follows the same path. She travels to rural Central America with a small team to carry the same simple message and taking also, birthing kits with her. Year after year she returns and year after year she finds more women who, having seen the results of what she has been teaching others, wish to learn. Her course lasts 4 days. The woman educates child birth attendants to wash their hands. Thousands of women die every year because of not doing this. She educates them in the simple things that will save.
Both women know that 820,000 women die because of childbirth every year; 99% of them are in developing countries. They know that, worldwide, a woman dies in childbirth every 40 seconds. They know that three quarters of the 4 million babies who die every year could be saved by simple interventions. They know that so many women simply have no access to safe medical facilities (in Bangladesh for example only 9% of births take place in clinics or hospitals) They know the grief and suffering of so many families through these events.
So quietly, simply, they have rolled up sleeves and helped. No full spread media campaigns, no double-space TV ads, no fleets of white SUV’s, no first-class ‘celebrity spokesperson’ visits. They just do it themselves, unsung heroes, quietly saving lives…
It first began a long time ago, in May 2010, when plans for the construction of a safe therapeutic area for children and other patients with physical rehabilitative needs became a reality. Things shot off to a quick start with the construction of the roof and cement floor ocurring within a month or so. In October, there was the Mural Project. Three vibrant young students with hearing impairments ventured to Takhmao from Epic Arts Kampot and worked with young people with disabilities here at the Centre to paint the amazing, bright wall mural that continues to capture the attention of all who enter the therapy area. Since then it has been slow and steady progress with more equipment gradually added to the floor area, and the wet season coming in and highlighting the need for small alterations to manage the water creeping in. This year was a particularly wet wet season, and we are really happy with how well the therapy area, given it’s open plan design, held up.
Finally, the area became ready for the safe rubber flooring to be laid. Fortunately, we were successful in receiving funds from the Direct Aid Program (DAP) at the Australian Embassy, to implement a project finishing off our building establishment and purchasing resources for the education and training of hospital staff and the community in physiotherapy and disability awareness.
Funds were received on the 21st October 2011 and laying of the floor began on the 26th. After a bumpy start, change in glues, cars breaking down, challenging lumps in the cement floor, workers being away, long lunches, late starts and varying shades of floor squares, we now have a wonderful, large, safe area for providing therapy for children and adults.
Money from a fundraising dinner held in Kadina, South Australia, Joanna’s (RCRC physiotherapist) hometown in early 2011, has been used to supplement the DAP funds to finish the floor area – we under-estimated the amount of rubber tiling required. These funds will also be used to tile the entrance, a cost not included in the grant proposal.
The flooring area has already proven a hit with the kids! In true Cambodian collective group therapy style, children flock into the Centre when we open the gate (funded by Kadina dinner), just to run around and play on this new, strange, soft but firm, rubber flooring, spontaneously rolling around on the floor. Fantastic for disability awareness, children and adults have been joining in on therapy sessions and getting some insight into life for those with disabilities and how they can play and join in activities too.
The flooring has created a safe environment for rehabilitation and therapy and has stimulated a great interest from the community and hospital in physiotherapy, disability and rehabilitation.
We have been invited by hospital Director, Dr Kong Chhunly, to present to hospital staff again on physiotherapy and its benefits and encourage referrals and integration of physiotherapy into the hospital system.
The development and progression of the physiotherapy area will continue – we are looking to build a storage room (we have no space for equipment such as standing frames, wheelchairs and other mobility/therapy aids), a waiting area, and will fix up the rough entrance. Many thanks to all donors, especially DAP (Australian Embassy) and the people of Kadina for these latest developments.