Phnom Penh, Cambodia, July/August 2014
Team Members: Trent Cross, Dominique Robert, Sarika Sharma, Almudena Ceballos Ruano, Cea-Cea Moller, Mohan Jayasundera
Cambodia is an amazing country that has suffered enormous tragedy during the reign of the Khmer Rouge in the mid to late 70’s. Genocide of over 3 million of its 15 million population and countless other atrocities have resulted in unimaginable suffering for the surviving population. The country has been in a state of rebuilding since 1980, with still a long way to go with over 20% still living below the poverty line. Few hospitals exist and those that do are largely private in nature expecting significant payment from the very poor population.
Hebron Medical Centre was the base for our team of 6, which included 4 surgeons, an anaesthetist and a theatre nurse. Hebron Medical Centre is an amazing hospital which started as a small house in 2007 and has progressed to a 70 bed hospital which has 3 operating theatres and sees over 40 visiting teams per year. It is a Korean missionary hospital and has many missionaries that stay on the grounds for years dedicating themselves to the people of Cambodia. The team worked well with the local staff and managed to treat over 60 patients performing 70 hernia operations on mostly children; some under 1 year of age. Other interesting cases included some recurrences in children and a complex re do inguinal hernia in an older gentleman which had previously been operated on 5 times. Both the patients and parents of the children where very happy and we left Phnom Penh planning to return in the near future. All patients we treated were well at the follow up clinic as arranged by our local coordinator Stephen Kim.
Socially we enjoyed very pleasant accommodation and were well taken care of by Hebron Medical Centre with our transport to and from the Hospital daily. We had an amazing dinner with the hospital staff on the last night and tasted alot of the local cuisine. Most team members had planned a few days either side of the mission to see Phnom Penh, visit Ankgor Wat at Siem Reap and pay their respects at the Genocide Museum and mass burial site from during the reign of the Khmer Rouge.
Hernia International and I would personally like to thank Menaka Thomas from Samaana Yoga, Australia, and others who personally donated $1000 to support the mission. It was greatly appreciated and very generous. Hernia International is excited and dedicated to its long-term commitment to the Hebron Medical Centre and the Cambodian people.
Trent Cross August 2014