The Lake Clinic (TLC), an NGO that provides free health care to communities living in stilt houses on the Tonle Sap Lake, has expanded its coverage from three villages to seven.
More than doubling the amount of villages covered had stretched the TLC team, said director Jon Morgan.
“We have adjusted our schedule to allow us to reach each of the seven villages twice each month,” Morgan said.
“Our working schedule has the team on the lake three days one week and four days the following week, so we are busier.”
But no one’s complaining.
“Every week brings a new story. Most actually involve us finding patients – both children and adults – who require surgery of some kind. Sometimes we save some lives. Every working day we improve many lives,” said Morgan proudly.
TLC will now treat patients in Borlot, Don S’Dong, Peamband and Pov Voey villages, as well as the three they already cover: Moat Klas, Steoung Chrove and Pek Chikrey.
They usually treat common problems like diarrhoea and gastric complaints, respiratory problems, high blood pressure and wounds of various kinds.
The difference between TLC’s work and that of others is that TLC staff usually see the problems in very advanced states because of a lack of local health care.
“As distance quickly translates into time and money, people can go a long time without seeking help when it is hours away and the cost can be equal to a month’s income,” said Morgan.
At the top of TLC’s wish list for 2010 is a new vessel. Negotiations between donors and contractors were ongoing, Morgan said.