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Volunteer Doctors From US See Throng of Patients

A nurse checks dengue fever patient.
A nurse checks dengue fever patient.

More than 50 volunteer medical personnel from the US are in Cambodia to treat some of the country's poorest on the outskirts of Phnom Penh.

The group is led by Tan Song, a Long Beach, Calif., doctor, and hope to treat a number of diseases, from seasonal colds to diarrhea, intestinal worm infections, high blood pressure, lung infections and diabetes.

More than 700 people sought the free services of the doctors and medical staff on the first day, Monday.

“Some of the patients rarely go to see a doctor, and some didn't even know their diseases,” Tan Song told VOA Khmer.

Most of the patients came from nearby areas of Phnom Penh, although some came from as far as the provinces of Kampong Cham, Kampong Speu and Prey Veng.

The volunteers worked nearly non-stop, with just a short break for lunch, Tan Song said. “This is testament that each of them is very dedicated to the mission,” he said. “They love the people.”

The project received a boost from the unplanned visit of US congresswoman Laura Richardson, whose House of Representatives district, the 37th, includes Long Beach and has some 50,000 US-Cambodian constituents.

Richardson was on a separate fact-finding mission to Cambodia earlier this week.