Imagine what your community would do if 1 out of 24 children died before his or her 5th birthday. For those reading this who are from or work in eastern Cambodia, you do not have to imagine. But for those reading this in the highly developed world, many fewer children die – on average about 1 out of 160 before his or her 5th birthday – in your community.
A really fascinating and detailed interactive map can be found at https://nyti.ms/2lZg2iv
Click on your country of interest (Cambodia we hope!) and look at the differences between regions within the country. When you find the sub-region in the eastern part of Cambodia labeled Kracheh that is us. And if you click on the regions just north of us in yellow where many of our patients come from, you will note that up to 1 in 16 children die before his or her 5th birthday in these areas. Obviously the need here in Cambodia is real and we firmly believe most of the deaths represented on this map are preventable through a combination of public health measures and quicker diagnosis and treatment of children’s illnesses.
What would your community do?
In Kratie Cambodia, the community has resoundingly said “We are in” to make a difference. The desire for improvements in local health posts, health centers and the province’s referral hospital is great and the willingness of the community to “buy in” is really strong. While it is true that Kratie province overall remains very poor (avg $2 per day income), it is also true that gains in livelihoods are being made by a significant number of families. The community therefore has strongly supported Chenla Children’s Healthcare’s tiered fee structure where services are free to the poor and others contribute a reasonable amount towards the provision of their care. No child is ever turned away and the local community knows this very well.
The Ministry of Health and the local Provincial Government strongly support Chenla’s approach. Funding from the government health equity funds system is instrumental in helping Kratie Referral Hospital absorb the extra burdens placed on it by the Chenla Children’s Healthcare’s pediatric ward becoming integrated with it. Staff members are busier. Supplies are more heavily utilized. Many more children are successfully cared for. Quality and compassion are always at the forefront of what we do.
Through the recent 2019 dengue fever outbreak, through the recent floods and through the increasing daily volumes of children seeking care, the local community continues to say “We are in.”
We also believe that this is a resounding message for everyone helping us from outside of Cambodia. We want you in too. If you are not already, will you consider becoming a part? In an efficient project our size, everyone’s input makes a big difference. Volunteer. Raise Awareness. Share Chenla Children’s Healthcare’s Posts on your own social media. Give Financially