About Project Lokun
Project Lokun is a bi-annual humanitarian project headed by NUS medical students, where a team of students and doctors visit Cambodia to provide medical relief. Based in the Centre of Research of Agricultural Practices Social Services Centre (CROAP) in Pursat province, it aims to reconnect villagers to the nation’s healthcare system, as well as improve their health and living conditions.
Who We Are
Project Lokun consists of Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine (YLLSoM), National University of Singapore (NUS) medical students who volunteer twice a year to journey into Cambodia’s rural villages with a particular mission. We reach out to villages far from the city centre and serves villagers who would otherwise not have the time or money to obtain proper healthcare. The team usually comprises approximately 20-30 medical students from and a team of 6-8 accompanying doctors.
“Lokun” means “doctor” in the Hokkien dialect and project volunteers are affectionately known as “lokuners”. In today’s modern society, we take medical care for granted as a universal human need that everyone in the world should have at least basic access to. While Singapore may be fortunate enough to have one of the best healthcare systems in the world, there are many elsewhere who could still use a helping hand. Project Lokun is one way that the medical student community in Singapore tries to give back to other communities in need.
Project Lokun’s misson is to Cultivate, Connect, Care for the Cambodian village community.
It aims to do these by bridging the link between Cambodia’s local healthcare system and the isolated villages far from any city centre that may be beyond its reach. Our work focuses on three main areas for these villagers:
- Free health screening
- Free medical diagnosis, medication, referral and follow-up for various conditions
- Health education to village households and school children
Through these interactions with villagers, Project Lokun also studies the general health condition of the children and tries to address it. For example, as part of health screenings, we aim to collect data about their Body Mass Index (BMI). Specifically, we look for weight for age, height for age, and BMI for age.
What we have found is that many of them suffer from malnutrition. With these statistics, we hope to highlight the need to provide basic nutrition for them.
For more details about the various medical conditions we encounter in our visits, read our stories section.
What We Do
Our operations are focused on three main aspects: clinics, education and development. A main tenet of our trip is the setting up of free clinics in multiple villages- Ruluoh, Takeo Krum, Kampong Luoung, and two new villages, Prey Omal and Toul Makak. During each trip, we see and treat approximately 200 patients per village.
Unlike most other overseas community projects which are content with going down once or twice, Project Lokun has been committed to serving the rural communities of Pursat since 2006, for a total of 21 successful trips. With the sole aim of eventually passing the responsibility of healthcare back to the Cambodians, the development committee has been expanding its reach of viable partnerships and exploring alternatives. Some of our notable partners include Hand of Hope Cambodia (HOH) – which assists us in the dispensing of chronic medications to hypertensive patients. In Singapore, we are also strongly supported by the NUS Medical Society- an official registered society in Singapore.
Why We Need Your Help
Since it began in 2006, Project Lokun has seen many successful medical missions to date. It is our hope that through Project Lokun, we can give back to a community one village at a time. However we would not be able to keep going without invaluable help from partners, sponsors, and other crucial non-medical volunteers such as translators and logistics managers.
Being a completely voluntary project, it is our hope to develop it into a sustainable long-term initiative where medical care for the villagers can be provided more constantly all year round by also supporting the work of local village doctors in between our biannual visits. All medical equipment and supplies provided to villagers are generously provided through donations. All volunteers also pay for their own room, board and expenses during visits.