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Care: Village Clinics

Introduction

Village clinics are quintessential to Lokun as they provide accessible acute care for the people of Pursat. They are key to our efforts in providing the villagers in Pursat with free, accessible healthcare. The clinics committee is in charge of planning and executing the village clinics, and referring patients to the relevant local healthcare facilities. They are also responsible for the recruitment of doctors and the procurement of drugs and logistics.

Operations

As part of pre-trip preparations, Clinics Committee is responsible for the procurement of drugs and logistics. Drugs are purchased from local Cambodian pharmacies by our UPPC Clinics counterparts before the trip itself, allowing for smoother running of the trip.

Personal Touch Initiative

The personal touch initiative aims to provide an avenue for closer interaction between the UP volunteer and villager by buddying them up through all 4 stations at Clinics. 

This initiative has brought about the following benefits: 

  1. Foster closer interactions between the UP volunteer and villager
  2. Allow UP volunteers to pick up information about the villager or the village through more informal, casual conversations
  3. Increase efficiency of consult: The UP volunteer would have gone through Triage with the villager and thus have a better understanding of the villager’s case, thus reducing the need for doctors to ask repeat questions
  4. Allows UP volunteer to have a more complete learning experience:  The UP volunteer has the opportunity to follow through an entire case (from Triage to Consult and finally to Pharmacy), facilitating more complete learning. The UP volunteer also has a fuller picture of Clinics as a whole (how each station links to the other), which provides them with a deeper understanding of the workings of Clinics.

With the implementation of this initiative, we hope to capitalise on Clinics as a platform to have greater and more effective outreach to the villagers. For example, with the information picked up through casual conversations with the villagers, Health Education at Lokun Clinics can potentially be tailored to the individual village or villager in order for it to be more effective.

Stations

Our village clinics consists of five stations – Triage, Doctor’s Consult, Referrals, Pharmacy and Health Education.

Triage Station

At the triage station, Project Lokun student volunteers first record basic information and vitals of the patient such as their age, gender, occupation and blood pressure. The patient is also asked to share their past medical history and presenting complaint. 

The “Triage Guiding Questions” initiative serves to provide volunteers with a structured guide of history taking. With the help of our Singaporean doctor volunteers, we prepared a list of guiding questions for the common conditions in Pursat (eg. cough, headache, muscle pain). The questions are specific and designed with the aim of obtaining key information such as location of pain, duration, as well as checking for any red flags. This helps the doctors draw out key information in order to narrow down their diagnosis quickly. Each Triage station is equipped with this list of questions, and Project Lokun volunteers at Triage follow the questions, taking down the details of the patient’s symptoms on a Consult Sheet which would be passed on to the doctors at Consultation.

Doctors’ Consult

At Doctors’ Consult, each patient is brought in for consultation with one of our Singaporean doctors. During the doctors’ consultation, doctors may refer to the information taken down from Triage. They will then pen down the patients’ diagnoses and prescriptions in the patients’ consult sheet. 

The use of consult sheets allows all relevant information to be consolidated for easy reference. This includes all information taken down from the Triage station, doctor’s consultation notes, and drug prescriptions. 

Health Education Programme (HEP) 

Patients are brought to the HEP room to learn about certain health topics — Stretches and Exercises, Oral Hygiene, Food Hygiene and Water Sanitation, and Common Signs and Symptoms. 

More information on the HEP can be found under the Education Committee section. 

Pharmacy

At the Pharmacy station, drugs are packed by our student volunteers according to doctors’ prescriptions written on the patient’s consult sheet. Finally, student volunteers will then explain the drug prescriptions to the patient.

Referral Booth

Following Doctors’ Consult, some villagers may be highly recommended by the doctors to seek further specialised medical treatment at the local health centres and hospitals. They will proceed to the referral booth where students assess whether they are suited for referrals according to the referral protocol.

The referral protocol takes into account (i) the urgency of their conditions as described by the doctors and (ii) their compliance in seeking treatment. While referrals serve to alleviate the financial burden of villagers’ healthcare costs, another important aim of referrals is to enhance the villagers’ health-seeking behaviour by increasing their awareness of the healthcare facilities around them and establishing the reliability of their local healthcare system. 

If a villager is deemed suitable for referrals, we will then provide them with the relevant information regarding the referral, such as the location and pick up timing for transport to the relevant health facility.

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