We drove from Phnom Penh to Kampong Cham which is north east of Phnom Penh. As is typical on trips like this, the drive gave us some great context to how many of the Cambodian people live. Homes built on stilts. Rice fields. White cows. A variety of tropical fruits are available. We stopped at a roadside stand along the way and were entertained by local kids who had learned to connect with the tourists. One young girl, Lynn, asked me where I was from. I said “the US” and she said…”Oh. America.” Just at that time, another young boy yelled, “Ohio!” Funny…given that Mike’s side of the family is from there. She pointed out all of the choices available to me…small quails, crickets, fried tarantulas, pineapple, bananas, mangos, and more. I asked about the tarantulas and she said, “it tastes like chicken!”
The destination for us was seeing the MTI Emergency Medical Services
program at Kampong Cham. We were able to see students respond to a mock motorcycle and vehicle accident where a baby was being born in the back seat of the car! Who knew that there was a “resusca Annie” that gives birth. That was a little too much for me so I focused on the leg injuries from the moto accident. The team did a great job of performing emergency medical response and then we witnessed their graduation from the program. Dr. Savuth Va who was the Deputy Director with the Ministry of Health thanked Medical Teams International for the partnership on the EMS program.
From there, we visited the Chamkae Leu Referral Hospital. We visited with the hospital manager who explained the importance of the medical supplies that MTI had donated and explained some of their needs. We toured the hospital and the ambulances and got an overview of how Medical Teams Intl’s EMS programs and donated supplies improved the difficult circumstances there. He said their greatest need is still improved training and equipment.