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What’s new? A centre of hope in the jungle

How many people could imagine a clinic staffed by profess-ional doctors in the middle of the jungle? Even I could hardly believe this, but it’s true.

Last month, my friends and I made a trip to Sihanoukville. On the way there, we spent an afternoon at the Thmor Roung waterfall, having lunch and relaxing.

We were all having a great time, but then an unexpected incident occurred.Minh, one of my friends, was washed from the top of the waterfall almost down to the cave below.

We were all in a state of shock, because Minh’s body was covered in blood.​ After carrying him out of the water, we wanted to get him to hospital as quickly as possible.

But the Thmor Roung resort is quite a long way from central Sihanoukville, and it would have taken us about an hour to drive there.

Then some villagers who were selling food nearby recommended that we go to a clinic in the village.

The clinic is called the Graphis Health Centre. When we reached it, it seemed like a professional clinic in a big city, even though it’s in a village that is quite isolated.

We were greatly surprised to see the clinic, because it far exceeded our expectations. We had assumed that, being in a jungle location, it would be a small wooden house staffed by, at most, one local doctor.

Its normal operating hours are from 7.30 to 1700, but the medical staff are on call 24 hours a day to respond to emergencies.

“In 2008, the site of the Graphis Health Centre was just a piece of ground in the middle of nowhere, but after we started its construction, many organisations from Japan, Taiwan and the US began providing support for a health service for local people.” Michie Nishiguchi, an assistant at the centre, says.

The centre is in Prey Proseth village, Obak Rotes commune, in Sihanoukville province’s Kompong Seila district. ​Opened in July last year, it treats ordinary diseases and injuries but also accepts terminally ill patients who need palliative care, and accident victims who need rehabilitation.

Minh was treated carefully and we were charged very little for the  service. But my friends and I decideឆd to donate some money to the clinic because we greatly appreciated theឹstaff’s efforts.



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