Tuesday, June 29, 2010


Project HOPE volunteer Renee Summerson says what she liked best in her work on the Pacific Partnership Cambodia mission was “seeing the people and being able to help them.” Renee is referring not only to the people in the port city of Sihanoukville but also to those in remote Kampot Province.

She is now back onboard USNS Mercy after a five day MedCAP(Medical Civic Assistance Project) which provided medical care to the rural people who live near the Ang Sophy School. The expedition began and ended with a 45-minute helicopter trip along the Cambodian coast. When the helicopter first landed in a clearing in front of the school, Renee and the doctors and nurses and other care providers unloaded their gear and set themselves up in tent cots so that they would be able to sleep without concern about mosquitoes.

Renee is a pharmacy student at Shenandoah University who worked in Kampot with one pharmacist and one other pharmacy technician to fill 5,809 prescriptions, more than 2,000 of them on the last complete day at the site. Renee found that they saw more adults than children, many of them with skin infections, many requiring antibiotics. A large number of dental extractions were carried out as well.

Among the patients were several monks from the adjacent Buddhist temple and pagoda and meditation caves. When Renee was invited to go inside the caves, she saw golden statues and unique rock formations for which the monks had specific names. She was happy to have extra translation services through a member of the Peace Corps teaching at the local school.

Thanks for reading - Mary Hamill, Ph.D., Project HOPE PAO

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