This week Dr. Malcom, from Melbourne, returned to M’Lop Tapang for his 8th time to volunteer alongside our local staff in the Dental Clinic. In between seeing patients we asked him a few questions:
Q: What made you first come to MT to Volunteer?
Dr. Malcolm: I was volunteering in Vietnam with Dr. David Grant through a Rotary program and had heard that Dr. Petrina Bowden had helped in starting a clinic at M’Lop Tapang and I thought we would check it out.
Q: This is your 8th time here. Why do you keep coming back?
Dr. Malcolm: Just because it is such a rewarding experience for us and M’Lop Tapang is such an exemplary NGO and also because there is such a need for dental care for the children in Cambodia. And of course the kids are just delightful to work with here.
Q; Have you seen any changes in the clinic since you first volunteered her?
Dr. Malcolm: Yes, a lot. Besides new equipment and new dental chairs we now see children coming back for maintenance and checkups as compared to before when it was all just toothaches. The Dental Clinic is making a difference to kids oral health and a lot of this is due to the work of Pech and Bopea, the dental hygienists here that do so much between our volunteer visits
Q: What are the biggest dental problems you see here in Cambodia compared to those you see as a dentist back home?
Dr. Malcolm: Rampant tooth decay! This is due to the poor nutrition and high sugar content diet and also lack of dental education in the villages and lack of access to services.
Q: How do you think other Australians can help out that don’t have the opportunity to travel here and volunteer their time?
Dr. Malcolm: We are privileged to be able to come here, but we know that more people would want to help. In Australia they can do this by donating a small amount monthly to Fueling M’Lop Tapang and I can guarantee that every cent will reach Sihanoukville. The Facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/FuellingMLopTapang or they can email us at: email@example.com
Q: Will we see you back at M’Lop Tapang for a 9th or 10th time in the future?
Dr. Malcolm: Hopefully I will be back in November with my colleague Dr. David Grant and we always have a fun week working together.