Disease – Poverty – Disease: Fighting the downward spiral united!

Suddenly, screams from the football field, and a motorbike sped away. On paths only as broad as the wheels we followed the bike that carried Mr. Thoeun and his broken arm across the rice fields to the little hut of the Khmer healer. There, two men were holding him fast while two others were pulling his arm to readjust the bone which protruded through his flesh. To disinfect it, the healer poured rice wine over the wound. Then he bound the arm in bandages so tightly that Thoeun’s hand swelled to three times its usual size. It was in the next days that I learnt the Khmer word for pain. After a few days Theoun came down with high fever, the pain did not stop and so we drove him to hospital. By that stage his bone was already so infected that the doctors initially wanted to amputate immediately. Three months of stationary treatment and several operations followed in which all the tissue of the arm had to be removed. Theouns arm was saved! However, the scars from the metal brace that was screwed into his bone are permanent, his fingers are stiff and his arm has only limited movement.
 
Vanessa Pabst, Vienna

 


Mr. Thoeun sporting his metal arm brace – The health sector is key to the development of Cambodia
Unfortunately, similar catastrophes occur far too often. There is one doctor for every 6400 people in Cambodia (in Germany there is one for every 270). Of the 6400 only very few can afford treatment. Diseases and bad injuries can stay untreated or are often treated inappropriately, sometimes with dire consequences. Through timely action and financial support the worst case scenario could be prevented, and patients would have a much better chance of healing quickly without lasting effects. Sorya e.V is not a medical organisation – however facing the numerous single cases we must find answers. Our aim is a better medical network for the people of Tropang Sdock and the surrounding areas. In individual cases our volunteers and staff organise transport to hospitals in Takeo and Phnom Penh and financially assist in treatment costs and medication.
 
If Cambodia’s health system was a patient it’s condition would be ‘life threatening’. The countless victims of landmines, traffic accidents and diseases such as AIDS, tuberculosis and dengue fever don’t get the necessary treatment. The predominant illnesses and diseases can be tracked back to poor health education and contaminated water or food. Within the frame of the rainwater project, Sorya e.V will provide rainwater tanks to all the families in the surrounding area, and then also for local schools.
 
Further focus issues:
-          Vaccination of small children at the local medical centre
-          Supply of the needy with prescription glasses, crutches or prosthetic limbs
-          Workshops for staff and students about health and hygiene
-          Cooperation with other organisations on HIV/AIDS education, improvement of water supplies and the treatment of visual impairments
 
Health is the key to growth and development. Sick people can’t work and subsequently can’t earn money to buy medication. The last cow must be sold. Looking after a sick person paralizes a whole family. A disease or injury is often the beginning of a critical downward spiral. Together we want to ensure that this is going to change.