The Order of Malta’s German Emergency Corps is implementing a Village Emergency Referral project, supported by the Cambodian Canadian Health and Nutrition Initiatives Fund, in Oddar Meanchey Province in north-west Cambodia. Since 1st February 2005, volunteers in the 45 remotest villages have been trained in basic first-aid and referral plans are being set up.
Due to weak linkages between public-health institutions in the province and their low utilization by the population, the aim of the project is to facilitate the increasing use of eleven health centres and the provincial hospital (the only one for 130,000 people) and not only in emergencies. A challenging task, as road conditions are bad and ox carts are the main means of transportation. Landmines still pose a threat and the closest health stations are often over 20 km from the villages.
The Order of Malta German Emergency Corps has been working in Oddar Meanchey since 1999.