Battanbang, North Cambodia is the destination for a group of health students fromGriffith University looking to bring their skills to disadvantaged communities.

Led by third year student Aisha Al Mahdy from Labrador, the group of 13 Bachelor ofPharmacy and Bachelor of Pharmaceutical Science students have organised a two
week program which will see them providing a range of health care to very low resourcedcommunities.

“It’s all very exciting as we have been planning this trip for some time through the reliefvolunteer organisation Challengers Abroad and we have heard reports from previous
groups about the severity of some of the conditions within the region,” says Aisha.

“It was a real eye opener to hear about the poor conditions the local women were givingbirth in and the poor sanitary situations.

“Unfortunately many chronic ailments go unnoticed in these conditions and so the groupis planning to offer general medical help, depending on what we see when we get there.

“Blood pressure checks and glucose checks will be on the list along with some generalhealth and hygiene education.

“Apparently headlice is also an ongoing issue which is poorly treated among thecommunity’s children so we will aim to advise on that.”
Aisha says that from the student group’s point of view, there is a lot to be gained.

“We are all looking for a more well-rounded knowledge of global healthcare systems andthe pros and cons of them. Intrinsic to this is our desire to improve our communicationsand healthcare skills.”

“We have a fantastic opportunity ahead of us. It will be tough setting up makeshift clinicsbut I am looking forward to making a difference, particularly with the children,” says Aisha. “I am sure it will be both a rewarding and humbling experience.”