Public Health in Cambodia
- Placement locations: Koh Dach Island, but will travel daily from Phnom Penh
- Role: To work in the field of healthcare and provide basic health services to the local island community
- Accommodation: Shared volunteer apartments
- Price: From
- What’s included? Food, accommodation, transfers to and from our specified airport, insurance, personal webpage, induction and orientation, 24/7 support
- What’s not included? Flights, visa costs, spending money
- Length of placement: From 1 week
- Start dates: Flexible
The Public Health placement in Cambodia is an ideal way for volunteers to gain practical experience in the healthcare field, while giving back to communities in need. Whether you are a student looking to gain experience or already work in the public health field, you can make a positive contribution to local communities with limited access to healthcare and affordable treatment.
In January 2014, Projects Abroad supported the Khemara Organisation in opening three new care centres. The organisation was the first local NGO in Cambodia to support vulnerable people, including women, children and disadvantaged families. As our Care and Micro-finance volunteers already support their local staff by working in these centres, we will be collaborating with them for our Public Health project.
The Public Health placement is located on the island of Koh Dach, also known as the ‘Silk Island’, which only covers 30 square kilometres of land. Although volunteers will live in Phnom Phen, they will spend an hour each day travelling to the small island.
Public Health Volunteering on Koh Dach Island
Public Health volunteers will do home visits with their project coordinator, a registered nurse with over 40 years’ experience. We work with Khemara, commune councils or the local authorities to determine which families and communities require the most urgent medical assistance.
During a home visit, non-invasive testing is conducted. These tests include urine testing using Multistix, a basic diagnostic tool to reveal the main functions of body organs that may need treatment. These Multistix accurately assist in gaining broader clinical insight into a patient’s health. Volunteers will also test for blood pressure and will never use needles for any procedure. Volunteers may need to refer cases to a nearby government-funded clinic; they may also provide transport to relevant and appropriate hospitals or doctors if available. Common conditions requiring further assistance may include:
- High blood pressure/hypertension
- High blood sugar levels
- Loss of appetite
- Arthritis and related conditions
- Pain management in general
- Cerebral palsy (for physiotherapy)
Volunteers will also have the opportunity to provide basic health services for children at kindergarten centres. This also ties in with child protection and the greater holistic approach to public health. Testing or evaluation may include:
- Skin disorders
- Anaemia (through physical symptoms)
- Chest problems
- Abnormal behavioural patterns
- Social and emotional well-being
- Basic teeth checks
On certain days, volunteers will also spend time working in the office. Here, they will work on analysing and reporting on their findings. Basic care plans are completed after each visit, follow up and evaluation of intervention. This will work in combination with the medical management plans in order to track and monitor long-term outcomes. These care plans are basic and are completed with the assistance of staff.