Angkor Gold Corporation recently sponsored a shipment to Cambodia and Delayne Weeks, Vice President Social Responsibility, filed a full report on the impact of the delivery. Her experience is a typical illustration of the effect a shipment of equipment and supplies from IHC can have in a community.
Delayne was invited to observe a team of about 40 medical professionals in Phnom Penh who, as volunteers, take monthly clinics to some of the poorest parts of Cambodia. She reported this well-organized clinic offered twenty stations for registration, general health review, and then referral to one of the many specialists; an ophthalmologist with at least five optician assistants; an ear nose and throat specialist; a pediatrician; a dental room with fifteen mobile chairs and two power packs for fillings, extractions, scaling and cleaning, with as many as twenty graduating students on site assisting; a cardiologist using portable echo-cardiograms and ultrasound; a pharmacy with about ten pharmacists; general practitioners; and a makeshift operating room for minor surgeries.
“Over a thousand people were served in the three hours I was present” stated Delayne, “and everything they were using: surgical gloves, drapes for the ‘sterile’ area, syringes, masks, bandages, chairs, dental instruments, hand sanitizer, and myriad other items, had all come from IHC!” she continued. “In each room the doctors would drag me over to the IHC boxes and say, ‘See, we have these materials from Canada!’”
This clinic was located in a school where two desks pushed together and draped became an operating table. Following each visit to a community the team leaves behind any equipment they can, walkers, wheelchairs, three-prong canes for the elderly, and beds to replace badly worn ones at the local health centres.
“I was humbled, impressed, proud, moved, educated, and speechless all at the same time. Please share our gratitude with the IHC team! Very impressive.” concluded Delayne.
Creative use of available resources is essential in impoverished areas. Here, school desks found new use! Initial health assessments, eye exams, and surgical instrument preparation all used the schoolroom furniture. Even the surgeries took place on desks pushed together to create surgical tables. Two surgeries were conducted at one time in the same room – unthinkable in Canada!