SAN spreads “Light of hope”


Sydney Adventist Hospital’s HealthCare Outreach volunteers have just returned from a visit to Cambodia in conjunction with International Children’s Care.

For the past 25 years, HealthCare Outreach has been assisting developing countries by coordinating specialist teams to provide surgery for patients unable to access the healthcare they critically need.

The young man was very blessed. He simply had no money to pay for an operation or to go to hospital.

The trip to Cambodia however had a new focus as it was the first non-surgical trip HealthCare Outreach had organised.

International Children’s Care have just completed construction on a medical clinic on their “Light of Hope Village” site in Kompong Thmor, three hours north of the country’s capital Phnom Penh.  The clinic is focusing on providing healthcare to the neighboring villages in the regions.

The team of 13—predominately staff from Sydney Adventist Hospital—spent time working in the new clinic and also operating a mobile clinic service in villages.

“They provided maternal health education to new and expectant mothers, as well as medical support and assistance to those who simply don’t have the ability to see a doctor like those living in the developing world,” said Michael Were, HealthCare Outreach manager.

One memorable event was meeting a 17-year-old man that attended one of the clinics. He had a badly infected foot caused by a burn some years ago. He had exposed bones and terribly infected flesh. 

The team was able to stabilise his condition, and also explained the urgency of getting immediate hospital attention. He was advised to have his foot amputated before the infection spread throughout his body.

“The young man was very blessed. He simply had no money to pay for an operation or to go to hospital. The SAN medical team paid the modest $500 cost for the surgery that saved his life. Without the operation, he would died from the infections,” said Mr Michael Were.

Approximately 200-300 patients were seen each day across the seven mobile clinic days.