A medical team from Hanyang University Medical Center (led by Director Lee Hyung-jung) conducted a medical volunteer activity in Botbang Village, Kampot Province, and Phnom Penh, Cambodia, from July 27th to 31st.
Resuming their overseas service for the first time in three years following the outbreak of COVID-19, the Hanyang University Medical Center medical team, which included Professor Kim Hee-jin from the Department of Neurology, served approximately 400 residents of Botbang Village in the southern province of Kampot, as well as Korean expatriates and locals in Phnom Penh, and received positive feedback.
Botbang Village, located in the southern Kampot Province, is a small rural community of 1,200 people. In this village, 60% of the residents rely on palm and coconut farming, while 20% sustain their livelihood through fishing and selling charcoal. Known for its poverty, the village lacks basic medicines and essential medical infrastructure. The average income per household in this area is a mere $4 to $5 a day.
The medical team noted that many villagers had severe dental issues due to a lack of regular check-ups and were also susceptible to adult chronic diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and hyperlipidemia, mainly because of malnutrition.
Before the departure of the medical volunteer team, the multinational pharmaceutical company Lundbeck Korea, headquartered in Copenhagen, Denmark, donated 20 million won, which was used effectively to purchase medicines and sanitary products for residents. This fund also supported hygiene and disease prevention education.
On the last day, July 31st, the overseas medical volunteer team visited Phnom Penh and, in collaboration with the Cambodia Korean Association (President Jung Myung-gyu), conducted medical services at Nuri Medical Healthcare Korean Hospital for over 60 Korean-Cambodian multicultural families, Korean expatriates, and locals.
Jung Myung-gyu, President of the Cambodia Korean Association, expressed gratitude, stating, "The Hanyang University Medical Center medical team and the Love and Hope Volunteer Corps demonstrated their commitment to service by sacrificing their summer vacation and braving the hot climate, pests, and challenging medical conditions to serve local residents and our fellow Koreans."
This was the ninth overseas volunteer trip for the Hanyang University Medical Center medical team. They have collaborated with the Love and Hope Volunteer Corps every year for these missions.
Led by Professor Kim Hee-jin (neurology), this year’s team included Professor Kim Bong-young of the Infectious Diseases Department, Director Park Ki-won of Phnom Penh Hebron Hospital's Pediatrics Department, and former Director Lee Chang-hoon of Seoan Dental Clinic, as well as nurses, pharmacists, medical and nursing students, and representatives from the Love and Hope Volunteer Corps, including its executive director, Kim Yong-soo (former professor of nuclear engineering).
In preparation for the overseas service, Seegene Medical Foundation's sponsorship of advanced medical equipment was invaluable, as it allowed the team to provide rapid and high-quality medical services to local patients.
On the last day, a resident of Phnom Penh from a multicultural family, Janta, brought her elderly parents for treatment and shared her thoughts. "Due to the inferior medical conditions compared to South Korea, we haven't had proper health examinations. My parents are suffering, especially with back pain that disrupts their sleep. I am thankful and delighted for the quality medications provided today and I hope the Hanyang University Medical Center team continues to visit annually."
Having participated in overseas medical volunteer work every year, Kim Hee-jin, the medical team leader, said, "Most patients have little to no experience with medical treatments and suffer from issues like cavities, tooth loss, and poor hygienic conditions. Many are also grappling with severe malnutrition. We aim to continue to expand our overseas medical volunteer efforts and uphold the founding philosophy of our institution, which is to practice love and endeavor to heal not only the physical ailments but also the emotional wounds of residents."