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Pak Battling to Help

Suddenly, there was a loud explosion. Four-year-old Kim, who was playing outside

his house, disappeared in a cloud of dust and smoke. His elder brother was brought

to the Medical Center of PakBatt in an unconscious state with his intestines spilling

out of his abdominal wall. He underwent an emergency operation and survived. Had

this accident occurred few months back he would have bled to death without any medical


Pakistan Battalion arrived in Preah Vihear province in December 92. It is one of

the most underprivileged areas in Cambodia and it was natural for the locals to look

to these men in their khaki uniforms for assistance. The battalion had with it specialists

in internal medicine, general surgery, anesthesia, dental and faciomaxillary surgery

and their own X-ray unit, a mobile laboratory and well-equipped operating theatre.

It was decided to extend these facilities to the locals. However, it was important

to incorporate local paramedics and improve whatever resources they had, to avoid

the creation of a vacuum once the battalion left.

With this help, the civil hospital of Tbeng Meanchey was brought back to a functional

level. The operating room and laboratory were made operational and all patents, no

matter how serious, were admitted there. The paramedics were given on-the-job training,

thus improving their diagnostic and management skills.

Ten of the commonest illnesses such as malaria, diarrhea and scabies were identified

and a program was launched to treat them through the battalion's paramedics, located

all over the province. In addition nearly a dozen three-day medical camps were also

run by doctors with lab support. This worked very well and so far more than 11,000

patients have benefited from the program. This is in addition to dozens of patients

who were operated on because of mine blast injuries or burns. The surgeon also operated

on cases such as breast tumors and skin grafting; while the faciomaxillary surgeon

assisted him and also attended to cases in Phnom Penh.

Today, the cry of a baby born through ceaserian section in Pak Batt Medical Center

reflects the voice of the future of the Cambodian people. People who deserve to live

with dignity and in peace and the battalion is proud of its contribution in making

it possible.



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