Dr. Andrew Rowland, is a UK based pediatrician and also a member of M’Lop Tapang’s Board of Directors. He visits M’Lop Tapang twice a year to attend Board meetings and while here he volunteers in our Medical Clinic for a week each time.
“I’ve been making visits to Sihanoukville twice per year – undertaking outreach clinics following my first visit in June 2014. This is therefore my tenth visit to M’Lop Tapang. I’m absolutely stunned at the changes that have taken place in Sihanoukville over even the past six months. The city is practically unrecognisable with construction sites everywhere as far as the eye can see. Whilst this economic injection into the local economy may superficially seem to be a good thing to create social development, there is a hidden side which is all too evident in the medical clinic. I’ve seen more and more parents attending with their children and declaring their employment as “construction workers”. Many of these families still have an incredibly low income, often insufficient to provide adequate food and resources to their children, caused by the rapidly increasing prices in the community. The building works are adversely affecting the environment in the clinic and the school – with thick smoke from the construction sites blowing into the clinic and the area where children are playing – not at all good for their respiratory systems. The construction works have decimated the traditional Cambodian buildings that were here five years ago. Rubbish lines the streets and a walk through the city demonstrates clearly the vermin that are associated with this. Whilst economic growth and developments in infrastructure should result in a better society for all, I worry that what has been created is an even greater divide between those that have and those that have not, with the consequent deleterious effects on the children living in our community here around M’Lop Tapang. I cannot help but feel that at the same time the high rise buildings are appearing everywhere across the city, the traditional heart and soul of the community and the cultural history in terms of traditional wooden Cambodian houses, with their calmness and beauty, has been lost forever.”
– Professor Andrew Rowland BMedSci(Hons) BMBS(Hons) MFMLM MAcadMEd FRCEM FRCPCH FRSA
– Head of the UK Delegation to the European Union of Medical Specialists
– Consultant in Paediatric Emergency Medicine
– Honorary Professor (Paediatrics)
– Churchill Fellow, The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust