DocTours Newsletter July 2015

46265655e96c91286342759929ce0468Hello Everyone!

Whether it is Dry July or just Cold July, we are all looking forward to Spring and planning a visit to somewhere warm and balmy such as Fiji, Cambodia or Sri Lanka. We have profiled the amazing Annabel who has just completed her second volunteer program in Cambodia. We have just launched our photo competition with the theme of Global Health – hopefully everyone has a snap or two that they can share! Finally, the wonderful Nurses for Nurses network are planning a conference in Alaska and are calling for abstracts around the theme of Innovation. More details below.

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Volunteering in Cambodia


Annabel is seen here in the photos delivering badly needed medical supplies to the hospital and also training the local staff!

Brisbane based RN, Annabel, returned to Cambodia in July for her second volunteer stint at a hospital in Phnom Penh. The hospital is funded by international charities and strives to be a centre for excellent care and treatment of Cambodia’s most poor and vulnerable people. It is also strengthening medical training and advancing medical research in the country. The hospital is in its 19th year of operation and continues to do amazing work, impacting and changing the lives of so many.


Unfortunately, Cambodia’s health care has a notorious reputation. An outbreak of HIV impacting over 250 people emerged in late 2014 in a small village in northwest july15.2Cambodia. This was caused by insufficient infection control standards practiced by an unqualified provider. This tragic circumstance highlighted one of the deficits of Cambodia’s health care system. The hospital provided us with an update below on some of their recent activities. Please help us to fulfil their promise of quality care for the poor by volunteering your professional service – it is truly appreciated and it is an amazing experience.

july15.3The hospital reported: A patient presented with chest pains – Vuthy, 46, is from Kompong Speu province (west of Phnom Penh and famous for palm sugar). He earns about $200 a month as a 24-hour warehouse guard which supports his wife and son. When Vuthy had a cough, chest pain and difficulty breathing for several days, he became very worried. He couldn’t afford to go to his local doctor because he hadn’t been paid. A co-worker wondered why Vuthy hadn’t arrived for his shift and called his wife. When his friend heard of Vuthy’s plight, he told them about the hospital’s free care and his wife brought him in. When Vuthy arrived, doctors provided oxygen, fluid and medicine then conducted an ECG, x-ray and blood tests. He was diagnosed with myocarditis – as you know this is a condition that often arises after an upper respiratory or other viral infection. His condition warranted admission, and he ended up spending four days in the Medical Ward with additional medication and a satisfactory outcome.

Vuthy said: “I am thankful to the hospital for my recovery. In the past, I’ve heard that most hospitals do not want to treat the poor because the poor never have money to pay. But here, that is not real. I got great care and I am very happy to return to my family and back to my job.”

Developing Best Practice for Diabetes Management – The hospital recently received a donation to help develop a more robust diabetes management program. It will focus on collecting baseline data on new patients, enhancing patient education programs and developing a data collection system that will better measure outcomes over time. The funding supports a dedicated project coordinator in addition to providing support for coordinated efforts by the medical teams at the hospital as well as education for the patients.

First Aid Training – The hospital driver teams have been learning how to provide first aid at accidents. The training was provided by Hong, a nurse educator. These skills are so badly needed in Cambodia.


The photo on the right shows the local staff practicing their resus skills on another staff member.

International Volunteer Dr Gray said:


“The Patients here are very sick, but the staff provided great care with very limited resources. They treat patients with compassion and appropriate medical management to save many lives.”

DocTours Photo Competition

We are pleased to announce the launch of the DocTours Global Health Photography Competition. So grab your cameras and smart phones and send us up to 5 of your favourite photos that reflect the theme of ‘Global Health’. Entry is free so why not click and share.

P.S. If you have any trouble uploading on the competition site, just email your photos and we will upload them for you!

What’s New? A Conference in Alaska …

The Nurses for Nurses network are holding a conference in July next year sailing around Alaska. They are seeking abstract submissions from health professionals around the conference theme of “Necessity being the mother of Invention”. It will offer opportunities to discuss innovation and to showcase improvements made or that could be made in service delivery to create a better experience for the consumer.

Read more here: Innovation Conference