GENEROSITEA SALES SUPPORTING NURSES IN CAMBODIAN SCHOOLS
My sisters and I are thrilled to report that during April/May 2017 the Bestow Sisterhood has raised $1007 dollars from the sales of Generositea to donate to the Cambodia Charitable Trust.
Every two months, we will let you know which part of the CCT’s work Generositea sales are supporting. This time, the money is going to support the work of two nurses who are employed by the CCT to care for the children in their schools. Between them, the two nurses care for 7000 children – a huge task!
Below is an update from my sister, Denise Arnold, which will give you insight into the healthcare needs and improvements which impact the children in CCT schools.
Denise would dearly love to be able to employ another full-time nurse. It’s part of their ‘wish-list’ at the moment. I am so glad we are able to put some financial support towards this.
~ Janine Tait | Bestow Sisterhood
NURSES, HEALTH + CARE IN CAMBODIA
Thank you Bestow Sisterhood! It does my heart good to think of the care and support going to Cambodia from beauty therapists around New Zealand. Your Generositea sales are a very welcome addition to our income. Let me tell you where your financial support is going this time.
Every day, our staff in Cambodia are confronted with health issues that are preventing children from learning. When we are in Cambodia and visiting the sponsored children in their homes we often see health problems like diarrohea, scabies, glue ear and teeth infections that would be easily treatable in New Zealand, but which have a more significant impact on Cambodian children due to a lack of healthcare and education. Often, parents cannot get their child to a medical centre for early diagnoses and treatment – there may not be one in their village, or they may not be able to offer the consultation fee. Because of these factors, easily treatable illnesses can become complicated and serious.
Health issues in Cambodia can cause a child to be off school for days, weeks or occasionally, even longer. Not only does that immediately affect the child’s education, but experience shows that missing significant amounts of school dramatically increases the chances of a child dropping out of school completely.
Over the years the CCT has been steadily working on identifying the major health issues the Cambodian children face. The trust now employs two Cambodian nurses, Vibol, our male nurse, and Chantourn, our female nurse. Impact Charitable Trust, another Kiwi NGO who we are delighted to be in partnership with, pay Chantourn’s wages, and have been a big help in developing our health team.
The task our nurses have been set is huge. CCT now supports sixteen schools – about 7000 children (thanks to you, our wonderful donors!). That’s a massive caseload.
HEARING AND EYESIGHT HEALTHCARE
So, what do our nurses, Vibol and Chantourn, do? They test every child’s hearing and eyesight. If there are concerns they arrange audiology or ophthalmology clinic appointments in the major towns, and accompany the children (with their parents) to the clinics. Then they support the children in their treatment and follow-up.
This sounds straight forward but all that screening, in schools that are sometimes quite big distances apart, (especially on a little motorbike on terrible roads) is a big undertaking. Then taking even one van- load of children to All Ears Audiology NGO in Phnom Penh or the Eye Clinic in Takeo for assessment and treatment is a full day expedition.
The children’s dental health is awful. The pain and infection they suffer as a result is a huge barrier to education, and also impacts on children’s general health. There’s no government funded school dental programme like there is in New Zealand, so when the children’s teeth are checked through a CCT project it is almost always the first time this has occurred in their lives.
The Trust is now involved in an ongoing project with One2One, a dental NGO based in Cambodia. It’s headed by a Kiwi dentist in Phnom Penh. In addition, Bethy, an amazing young Kiwi dentist, also working with One2One and doing post graduate study, has taken particular interest in helping the Trust deal with this major issue.
With One2One’s support, all the children in four of our 16 schools have had their teeth treated with Silver Diamine Flouride, a cost effective non-drilling treatment for, and prevention of, dental caries. Our nurses have learned how to do the application. They are now working to expand this programme to all of our CCT supported schools.
Diarrhoea illness is a major child killer in South East Asia and Cambodia is no exception. It also keeps children out of school and/or feeling unwell, and therefore is a big barrier to learning. When CCT first began working with each of the schools it supports, none of them had a clean water supply or any toilets. Imagine seven thousand school children defecating in the rice fields and not washing their hands. Many of you have contributed to water and sanitation projects in the schools so we now have toilets and drinkable water in all our schools.
But as we have learned over the years, just providing the infrastructure or materials doesn’t mean everyone is going to use them. Particularly if they don’t have toilets and fresh water at home, which means the learning at school is not being reinforced at home. So we have an ongoing programme of handwashing and sanitation education for the children, which is implemented by our two nurses.
ADOLESCENT HEALTH EDUCATION PROGRAMME
Finally, on our most recent visit we supported the roll out of an Adolescent Health Education Programme. This programme will continue to be managed by our nurses; and will be presented to all different groups of students (divided by age and sex).
So you see, it is an almost impossible task that has been set for our two nurses, but they are doing their very best and remain committed and enthusiastic even with their overwhelming workloads.