Dec 28, 2020

As 2020 comes to an end.

Clean water is essential to good health!
Clean water is essential to good health!

There will be a nearly universal sigh of relief echoing around the world as 2020 comes to an end, and though the end is still a few days away it is a good time to reflect upon the work and the progress that The Lake Clinic - Cambodia has accomplished even in these troubling times.

The final numberss are not in yet. The deadline for this report arrives earlier than our official "end of the year", but you can be proud of what TLC has done--even with an enforced "slow down" in April and May of this year. As of this writing, TLC has held 300 clinics across the 9 villages that we serve in both Siem Reap and Kompong Thom Provinces. TLC's Clinical Team has treated more than 16,000 cases, and our Outreach Team has made almost 5,000 visits to homes, and has conducted health education (of course COVID-19 has been a constant topic) for families, mothers and separate educational sessions for teenagers.

A house visit by a TLC Outreach Team member.
A house visit by a TLC Outreach Team member.
Health Education in the early days of COVID
Health Education in the early days of COVID
Homemade PPE protects clinician and patients alike
Homemade PPE protects clinician and patients alike
TLC clinician with a "mature" patient.
TLC clinician with a "mature" patient.
A small floating garden for home based nutrition.
A small floating garden for home based nutrition.

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Aug 31, 2020

April, May, June 2020 and a COVID Update

Since COVID-19 became a global pandemic in March 2019, day to day life at The Lake Clinic has become much different.

The Lake Clinic - Cambodia temporarily suspended services from March 23 - April 30 in order to prevent staff members from unknowingly carrying and spreading the COVID-19 virus to the eight villages TLC serves. With the village locations being some of the most isolated and remote in the country, the biggest risk factor for being exposed to the virus was TLC’s team coming and going to Siem Reap each week.

As of Monday, May 4th operations resumed at 50%, with only one team going each week instead of two, and will alternate between the lake and the river. This decision was reached after monitoring the number of cases in Cambodia and the spread after Khmer New Year. A decision for each week of service will be made
the week prior in order to make the best decisions on whether to roll out full service or suspend again.

We adjusted our budget to reflect our half schedule until we reopened at 100% in July, and used only 50% of what was budgeted for staff salaries and transportation. However, there were many expenses that are constant. For example, pharamaceutical costs are remaining at 100% as we are providing uninterrupted supplies for our chronic patients regardless of our physical presence.

TLC has seen a shift in funding for 2020 as many funders have changed their priorities this year to fund communities closer to home and/or directly funding COVID-19 work in hospitals. Many funders have also decreased their grant contribution in order to fund more projects. The Lake Clinic has seen almost $100,000 in expected funding lost due to the coronavirus pandemic.

While the team was not physically in the villages the doctors moved into telemedicine and provided phone consults to an average of 20 patients a week throughout the suspension.

Patients that we have been treating are a mix of all ages, and many were calling with symptoms of dehydration and malnutrition. We saw an increase of patients when in-person service began, as many people were worried about the virus and many chronic care patients needed to check in with their doctor. Additionally, with more people returning home from their factory and construction work in Thailand we saw an increase in all manner of social and medical problems, particularly malnutrition and an exacerbation of already endemic illnesses a result. This is because there are more people in the home and those who are no longer working are not sending money to the families on the lake.

The doctors who provided telemedicine did not report any cases of suspected COVID-19 or had patients reporting symptoms of the virus.

Beyond healthcare, our Outreach team is working to provide education on the virus and how to protect yourself by washing your hands regularly and adhering to social distancing. The team handed out over 1,000 bars of soap in the week leading up to service suspension and left quantities with the village chiefs in each village in order to be sure that families had access while TLC was away. The team is also providing education around how the virus is and is not spread as there is misinformation rampant in Cambodia currently.

TLC remains the only source of professional healthcare available in these communities now and into the future. While COVID-19 has presented unprecendented new challenges, our work will continue to be on the front line of surveillance and early intervention of this virus.

Sewing Masks
Sewing Masks
Doctors in Full PPE
Doctors in Full PPE
Mar 20, 2020

November and December 2019, and January 2020

2020 is in full swing! January 2020 showed us a new high in services provided to our villages with a total 3,880 services!

During November, December, and January The Lake Clinic team ran 95 clinics, saw 2,567 patients, and provided care for 3,473 diagnoses. These diagnoses range from the common cold to leprosy and everything in between. 

In January alone, TLC's Outreach team installed 9 new water filters and followed up and supplied maintenance on 67 previously installed filters. 

Attached you will find our quarterly activity report that includes a break down of exactly how and where all of our services were in action. In the activity report there are a selection of success stories from the past 3 months that illustrate the work and the meaning it has for the families on the lake and river.

Some of the work that was completed was around Yeiy Sarun*, a 68 year old female who TLC has suspected had Leprosy and/or Tuberculosis who lives in Kscarshiros (the river village). Here is her story:

For the past 4 years Yeiy has been seeing doctors at The Lake Clinic about a wound on her nose but around 18 months ago Yeiy stopped coming into the clinic.

Worried, Dr. Rida went to her home 6 months ago and found that her initial wound had spread and now covers her entire face, head, neck, shoulders, and back.

Additionally, Yeiy has developed a deep lung cough and reports coughing up blood. For the previous six months The Lake Clinic doctors have been providing home care for Yeiy - each time asking more and more urgently to take her to the nearest provincial hospital. According to Cambodian law - The Lake Clinic cannot perform the initial diagnostic test for both Tuberculosis or Leprosy. 

For months, we have believed Yeiy has contracted Tuberculosis, Leprosy, or both. But because she needs to travel and spend three days in the provincial hospital she has been unwilling to go. You see, Yeiy is the primary caregiver for her five grandchildren. Their mothers (her daughters) work long days in the rice fields and their husbands sometimes spend months in Thailand working. For Yeiy, it's not that she doesn't care about potentially passing along her disease to the children it's that she has not felt like she can leave the children long enough to get tested. 

This week, after multiple visits from TLC, Yeiy has finally agreed to go to get a diagnosis. 

At the end of this week - TLC will cover the cost of transportation of Yeiy to Kampong Thom Provincial Hospital as well as a stipend for food while she is there. Next week, our doctors will be able to know and understand Yiey's diagnosis and ensure that both she and her family have the best care available. 

80% of people living in Asia have latent Tuberculosis - TLC treats multiple cases a year but consistently has a difficult time convincing the patients to travel to receive the initial diagnosis. 

However, because of our referral program each year The Lake Clinic is able to provide referral and transports to those people and families who require it.

 

Thank you so much for your investment in The Lake Clinic. We are so grateful for your support and we hope to be able to count on you now and in the future to provide the support and healthcare to those who would otherwise go without. 

Your donation makes a difference and for every $8 TLC can provide 1 service to someone in need. 

 

*Names changed for privacy reasons

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