Latest News

Health in Rural Cambodia - Field Notes from our Summer Intern

Many of the Cambodians working in the public health sector that I talked to identified access to water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) as being one of the biggest outlasting health issues here. 35% of rural Cambodians do not have access to basic drinking water services, and almost 40% do not have access to basic sanitation services. Additionally, many Cambodians still practice open defecation. The United Nations features access to WASH prominently in their Sustainable Development Goals, indicating a recognition of how crucial they are to health and well-being. Globally, almost a million people die every year due to inadequate access to WASH. 100% of these deaths are preventable through education and proper facilities.

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Meet Megan - our first student intern in Cambodia!

Hi everyone! My name is Megan Ruoff and I'm currently spending the summer in Cambodia doing an internship with Banyan Tree Clinics. I'm originally from Portland, but right now I'm doing my undergrad at Swarthmore College, just outside of Philadelphia.

I am interested in a variety of public health issues including nutrition, reproductive health, and sanitation/hygiene, and particularly the ways in which behavioral science can be leveraged to design and implement change in these areas. I love traveling, soccer, warm weather, being outdoors, and meeting new people, so Cambodia has been great for me!

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An Overview of Cambodia's Healthcare System

Cambodia has made remarkable progress in the 21st century, focusing largely on economic growth. As a result, the overall population is healthier and its healthcare system is growing stronger. Such rapid growth, however, has led to a lack of regulation and an extensive private healthcare sector.

Cambodia's budget for health care nearly doubled from 2007 to 2012 and about 50% of health spending is financed by foreign donors. Government funding accounts for most infrastructure and staffing with revenue supported by user charges. As of 2011, more than half of government expenditures were spent on medications and medical supplies, which is much higher than average. Cambodia does not have mandatory health insurance, and the few insurance companies that do exist target workers who can pay premiums, leaving the poor without monetary assistance.

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Different ways you can support Banyan Tree Clinics in making a difference

With so many causes in the world requesting support, it can seem overwhelming. For me, the children of Cambodia have a special place in my heart because of the difficult challenges faced by their parents and grandparents to give them a good life after the devastation of the Khmer Rouge and the Killing Fields.

Thank you for helping Banyan Tree Clinics raise enough money to get wheelchairs and other medical supplies to the clinic in Pursat Province, Cambodia. The staff are very grateful and we are excited to expand how we can help them. In addition to continue accumulate medical supplies, our next fundraiser goal is to provide health assessments and nutritional education to the area through various means.

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About Cambodia

Cambodia is one of the countries of Southeast Asia on the Indochinese mainland.

Population: 16.49 million (2019)
Capital: Phnom Penh
Language: Khmer (major language)
Government: Constitutional monarchy operated as a parliamentary representative
Currency: Cambodian Riel ($1 U.S Dollar = 4060 Cambodian Riel)
Religion: Buddhism (96%), Islam (2%)

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