LWB Community Blog

2018 Cambodia Cardiac Trip – Inside the Slums

The city of Poipet, Cambodia is absolutely exploding in growth right now. Since most forms of gambling are illegal in Thailand, the building of casinos just across the border in Cambodia continues nonstop. In addition, a major railway project to connect Bangkok with the capital city of Phnom Penh goes right through this gateway town. Today our medical team visited the large slum area located in the south of the city, where hundreds of children live right along the railroad track.

This location was a much more chaotic one for our team, and the children began gathering as soon as we walked down the tracks. Villagers carried chairs and a small table out for us to an area next to piles of garbage, roosters in cages, and lots and lots of dogs. The kids were absolutely fascinated with the echocardiogram machine and kept peeking around to see what we were doing.

None of the kids wanted to leave the area after getting screened as there was just too much excitement going on — not to mention stickers.

One family who came to see our team had twin baby daughters. Thankfully, both girls were examined and have really strong hearts.

Because of the poverty in the slum area, our team unfortunately saw a lot of malnourished kids, evidenced not only in the tiny size of the children but also by the signature blonde hair of Kwashiorkor malnutrition, caused from a severe lack of protein.

Malnutrition remains a challenge in rural Cambodia, which is why we’re so grateful to everyone who supports our nutrition projects in the region.

We screened 106 children in the slum area today, with 18 needing further study by echo.

Tomorrow we will have one final set of screenings. We’ll share more images then. Wishing you a great day from Poipet!

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