How Health Problems Can Cause Poverty
Most of us enjoy the luxury of taking our good health for granted, and when we are ill we simply book in to see our doctor. That’s not the case for the impoverished families who teeter on the edge of financial ruin when something unexpected comes up.
In Cambodia a health problem can spell disaster for a poor family. Already struggling to make ends meet, a trip to the doctor, or worse, a stay in hospital, can plunge a family into debt for a lifetime. The only loans they can receive come attached with impossibly high interest rates, guaranteeing financial problems long after a sickness is cured. Living near a former rubbish dump and scavenging for recyclables means the people we support often suffer from serious health problems.
A Free Clinic For All Ages
At Cambodian Children’s Fund we aim to improve the health and well-being of not just the children in our care, but the whole community. CCF Provides free healthcare services to students, families and community members, including Cambodia’s only fully free medical clinic serving people of all ages.
The program centres around the CCF Medical Clinic – the only fully free medical clinic treating all people in Cambodia – where more than 30,500 treatments were provided in 2017. Our doctors also spend one day each week working in the community and visiting sick patients at home. Alongside this is our dental program, which saw 2,977 treated at our free dental clinic in 2017.
CCF provides all kinds of basic health care to people in need, from patients seeking help for common ailments to those with chronic illnesses. For serious cases, we arrange hospital referrals and take care of treatment fees. In 2017, we supported 2,629 hospital referrals, from biopsies and x-rays through to major surgeries. In Cambodian hospitals the patient is responsible for his or her own food and water and anything else needed during the stay. We take care of these costs.
By teaming up with a range of partners, from village health committees to government agencies, we improve maternal, newborn, child and adult health. We focus on improving nutrition and preventing infectious diseases.
CCF provides targeted groups with materials necessary for disease prevention, with a focus on child nutrition and improving public health.
The Maternal Care Program was established in 2011 to address the high maternal death rate in Steung Meanchey and has achieved a 0% maternal death rate across more than 1,100 births. CCF also operates a free dental clinic and provides eye care to students and community members who need it, in particular the elderly.
The Healthcare Program approach isn’t just designed to keep families healthy, but to keep them from falling further into poverty.
CCF's comprehensive Maternal Care program was introduced to address the distressingly high maternal death rate in Steung Meanchey. Since then, we've seen more than 1,100 babies born with a maternal death rate of 0%.
- CCF Internal Research
CCF Healthcare Program
Key Healthcare Program Activities
The only fully free Medical Clinic treating people of all ages in Cambodia. The clinic provides more than 30,000 treatments every year.
Hospital Referral and Support
Our free medical clinic handles basic treatments, but some cases are beyond the scope of our facilities. Our healthcare guarantee includes assessment and treatment at area hospitals when the need arises.
Regular check-ups, height and weight checks, treatments and vaccinations for all CCF students, along with daily access to an in-house registered nurse.
Maternal Care Program (MCP)
Providing education and support to expectant mothers and fathers. More than 1,100 babies have been born into the program, and every mother has survived childbirth. After birth, mothers receive a "Welcome Home Baby Kit" and follow-up visit from the MCP team.
Critical Nutrition Program
Our Critical Nutrition Program provides personalised nutritious diets to help speed the recovery process of moderately to severely malnourished children.
Our dental clinic opened in 2011, in collaboration with Phnom Penh International University. The two dentists and a dental assistant at our two-chair clinic provide free check-ups and treatment for community members six days a week.