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Common illnesses in tropical Asia and significance of medical volunteering

Authors
  • Rim, Chai Hong
  • Lee, Chang Won
  • Heo, Young Soo
  • Aieng, Rinet
  • Jun, Sung Yeon
  • Choi, Sung Hun
  • Rim, Jae Suk
Type
Published Article
Journal
Open Medicine
Publisher
De Gruyter
Publication Date
Jul 30, 2018
Volume
13
Issue
1
Pages
285–293
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1515/med-2018-0044
Source
De Gruyter
Keywords
License
Green

Abstract

This study was conducted to provide practical information for actual preparation of medical volunteering in tropical Asia, mainly the distribution of common illnesses encountered during mission. From 2012 to 2017, we visited two rural areas of Eastern Cambodia for medical volunteering missions, Cham Lak and Khsoem. Neither area has electricity or public water. We classified the common cases encountered during missions into six groups (upper respiratory infection, gastroenteritis, vaginitis and/or cystitis, dermatitis, work-related pain and parasite prevention) and assessed the distribution. In Cham Lak and Khsoem, 558 and 371 people were treated, respectively. The most commonly encountered cases in children under age of 18 were upper respiratory infection, followed by parasite control and dermatitis, in both areas. There was no significant difference in distribution between the two areas. For adults, the most common illnesses in Cham Lak area were vaginitis and/or cystitis, followed by gastroenteritis and work-related pain. In Khsoem area, the common illnesses were work-related pain followed by gastroenteritis, and upper respiratory infection. The distribution between the two areas differed significantly (p <0.001). The difference might be due to the water source and main crops of agriculture. Successful preparation of a medical volunteering needs deep understanding of the destination community.

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