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Beginnings in Battambang

aoa 02bLate April last year, a team of doctors and volunteers with A Call To Share (ACTS) embarked on a medical mission trip, Battambang - VAC (Battambang - Vaccinate A Child), to administer Hepatitis B vaccinations to the locals living in the province.  

ACTS is deeply gratified to Mr. Robert C. Ludwig for sponsoring all complete courses of Hepatitis B vaccinations, delivering the 3 courses of vaccinations for every person who came to register in the initiative.

This inspiration for the social mission to start to vaccinate all Cambodians against this serious viral liver infection was championed because Mr. Ludwig knew that many Cambodians cannot afford the injections on their own. Since last year, the program has taken its course. To date, over 2000 completed courses of vaccinations has been delivered through the collaboration with ACTS medical team.

Dr. Estella, Dr. Ong Yew Jin, Dr. Sarani Omar, together with 4 Cambodian nurses and a logistics team carried out a successful vaccination for a total of 199 adults and 113 children.  Another separate group then visited in May followed by yet another tag-team later in December to complete the 3 rounds of vaccinations for the 312 vaccinated in April.

This vaccination process begins with a registration counter, where individual fingerprints and photographs were updated as identification to ensure we had the records of everyone we vaccinated and for follow-up when they return for their subsequent second and third doses.  Before the vaccinations, all patients were invited to a reception room for an introduction and broad overview on this infectious disease. A Cambodian nurse conducted this info-session in the Khmer language for better understanding from the crowd.  After the talk, they proceeded for their vaccinations.  I was in the same room where they were being educated about the serious viral liver infection and it was heartwarming to see how receptive the locals were to getting their vaccinations.  Many were concerned about side effects from the jabs, and were curious about how Hepatitis B could be transmitted from person to person. However, once they were clear on what they were going to receive, they proceeded most positively and some even came back later during the day with friends for their vaccinations as well.

Bishop Kike also came down for his vaccination together with his fellow priests. They knew each villager personally, and it was simply moving just watching them interact with each villager with assuring warm smiles on their faces. It is even more rewarding seeing Cambodians depart with the vaccinations done, knowing that we have just enabled 312 lives to be safe from Hepatitis B for the next few years. This is but the first of many waves of Hepatitis B vaccinations we hope to perform, and ACTS hope to be able to continue to accomplish this for more people with each new expedition.

Just earlier this year, another medical team has gone up to Battambang and provided vaccination for another 500 Cambodians.

Thank you, Mr. Ludwig, for making this possible for all the Cambodians.

Claire Sum
Volunteer (Battambang – VAC 2015)