In 1975, after years of civil war, Cambodia suffered a devastating blow to its development as the Khmer Rouge took control of Phnom Penh. Khmer Rouge leader Pol Pot's vision for a Cambodia absent of any social institutions such as banks, universities, religions or any modern technology centered on a return to an agrarian communist society.
The means of implementation were to exterminate anyone who didn't fit within this new ideal. The "new" nation was being turned back to "Year Zero", and intellectuals, businessmen, doctors, Buddhist leaders and foreigners were "purged." It is estimated that 1.5 to 2 million people--25% of the population--were killed during this time.
The Khmer Rouge did not stop killing Cambodians until 1998, when Pol Pot died.
Emergency programs bring new life
Medical Teams is also advancing existing community-based First Responder programs in Kampong Cham to include basic emergency obstetric and newborn care. MTI has worked to roll out anti-shock garments in all of Kampong Cham province. These garments treat post-partum hemorrhaging at health centers. The low-cost garments stabilize blood pressure and enable transport to a hospital where the patient can receive intensive therapies.