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