Thursday, March 1, 2018

The Lake Clinic

Hello Everyone,

Going out on the Tonle Sap Lake in central Cambodia never fails to be both an adventure and a challenge. This time of year it is very hot and humid out there and once the sun sets an onslaught of insects come out in full force to any light source so it is wise to be in bed and in your mosquito net just past sunset at around 6:30 pm. The locals, including children, mostly fish for a living and spend virtually their entire lives afloat either on their homes or boats.

The Lake Clinic Cambodia (TLC) was founded 10 years ago by Jon Morgan. The struggles of severe poverty is compounded by life on the water and prior to the founding of TLC there was a total lack of access to health care. Each week two TLC teams, comprised of a doctor, nurse, midwife, pharmacist, and registrar rotate through the four clinics on the lake and one on the Stung Sen River (that K.I.D.S. built 6 years ago). On our trips out to the lake we have witnessed the incredible difference that these medical teams make in easing the suffering of children and families. Without a doubt TLC and their amazing and dedicated teams save lives.

Jon was grateful when we told him that this year K.I.D.S. was able to help TLC by providing funding for two of the three midwives who work for TLC.

The environment on the lake is not only hard on people it is demanding on the infrastructure of TLC. This trip the solar powered battery banks, of two of the clinics, that provide electricity for lighting, computers and fans to keep patients and staff comfortable needed replacing. We also redesigned and replaced the pumping systems on the clinics with simple local technology to help keep water out of the hulls. Thank you Compassionate Eye Foundation for funding the batteries and pumps.

We recently went out to the lake and spent a couple of days doing repairs and improvements on the floating clinics. Adrianne and I and the TLC boat pilot spent our time replacing plugs and switches, repainting doors, installing wire to stop birds from coming into the clinics and building and installing the pumps.

K.I.D.S. also provided school supplies and some repairs to the little floating school that is next door to the clinic. Last year K.I.D.S was able to keep this little school afloat by buying new bamboo to put under the school. This small simple one room school provides the children an opportunity for education and respite from the daily struggles of fishing and a subsistence living on the lake.

We are literally in awe of the residents of the lake who live and work in these conditions indefinitely and the teams from TLC who travel long distances out there weekly to make their lives healthier.

Thank you to all K.I.D.S. supporters and donors, your assistance here keeps kids healthy and makes a difference beyond measure.

Till Next Time,
Rick and Adrianne