Mercy: Cambodia mission on the roll ...

News and Press Release
Originally published
By Jamilah Samian/Halimah Sadia
Mercy Malaysia Cambodia Mission 11 recently returned triumphant with a string of achievements. "We successfully initiated the first working relationship with Angkor Hospital for Children in Siem Reap and launched the 2002 Flood Relief Campaign," said MERCY Malaysia Cambodia Country Director, Ms Yang Wai Wai.

The team was responsible in making an assessment on the Pediatric Wing of the Kampong Cham District Hospital for adoption by MERCY Malaysia. "We conducted mobile clinics all around Kampong Cham Province. Although there were only twelve of us of different races from Malaysia in that mission, we formed an excellent bond."

"I have also signed an MOU with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to register ourselves as an International NGO working in Cambodia. With this recognition, our future endeavours will be better facilitated and supported by the government. We will also enjoy tax-exemption status for our operations."

Ms Wai Wai said the mission also saw the participation of the Malaysian ambassador to Cambodia, Dato' A.H. Anuar who joined two of their mobile clinics -- one in Phnom Penh and another in Ko Sir Terng. "Our next mission is scheduled to be in November in conjunction with the ASEAN Summit and the embassy is trying to organise a roundtable with our Prime Minister."

She further iterated, Cambodia experiences two extremes, i.e. drought and flood, causing a variety in the kind of cases they had to deal with. "Every mission is different," she explained. "The people are different, the things we do are different."

"We achieved more this time because we are now more accustomed to the local customs, though at times we are learning the hard way on how to work with the system. This is a country that is so deprived that the rule of the game here is the 'law of the survival of the fittest'. Basically the people themselves are just striving for their own survival. As such, a tremendous amount of networking is needed and blending in with the local people proves to be an important element as well."

What is MERCY Malaysia's future plans for Cambodia? "To work with the Ministry of Health in providing midwifery training under the National Health Plan, to collaborate with the Public Health Department to work alongside the health centres in our mobile clinics, to upgrade the paediatric ward and to establish a student attachment programme at Angkor Hospital," she said.

Those interested in the flood relief campaign are urged to join the team as it still needs a paediatrician, obstetrician/gynaecologist and medical officers. Medical assistants, nurses and non-medical personnel are also welcomed. Volunteers please contact Anita at 03-42569999 to arrange for an interview.