Low-income Cambodians have travelled from around the country to seek free healthcare from the USNS Mercy through the US Navy’s Pacific Partnership humanitarian mission.
The hospital ship docked at Sihanoukville port on Sunday and will dispatch seaman to schools in southern provinces to provide free medical, dental, veterinarian and engineering assistance until August 11.
Hong Sok, 62, said he travelled from Ponley commune in Takeo province’s Angkor Borei district to Kandol Dom Primary School in Kampung Speu to receive treatment for an eye affliction he had suffered from for years.
“In my village there was a campaign for a free medical treatment by the US Navy, so I spent the money [US$5] for a taxi to receive treatment that I otherwise could not afford,” Sok said.
Major Kathleen Flocke, an officer in charge of the Medical Civic Action Program from the USNS Mercy, told the Post that the 50 military personnel from the US, Philippines, Canada and Australia will treat 500 to 800 patients daily.
“The US Navy can help people but also to build the relationship so that in the future if there is disaster or emergency need, America and different partners, will know how to work together,” Flocke said.