One of the best things about being an Ambassador at an active embassy – like we have in Phnom Penh – is that we are always implementing many projects that benefit Cambodia. Fortunately, I get the opportunity to showcase some of the most exciting projects with you in my blog. Recently, I had the opportunity to catch up with my colleagues at the Naval Medical Research Unit-2 (NAMRU-2). The NAMRU-2 staff focuses on conducting medical research that can help keep the Cambodian people safe from diseases.
Just recently they began enrolling new participants in a study that will help identify the reasons for serious respiratory and diarrheal diseases in areas surrounding cities and in rural parts of Cambodia. Once we better understand the cause of such diseases, we can develop better methods of prevention and treatment. Perhaps you know someone who suffers from one of these diseases? If so, you can appreciate what a difference it would make in their life if we could learn how to prevent or cure these diseases better.
The enrollment process for the new study involves going door-to-door in the villages in the study areas. The field volunteers explain to the residents of each house how the study will work and ask the villagers if they are interested in participating. Given that NAMRU-2 hopes to have four villages and a total of 5,000 people participating in the study, the enrollment process takes a lot of person-to-person contact, but it is important that the participants understand the study and are comfortable with taking part in it.
NAMRU-2 sent me photos of the volunteers’ first day out in the field. It’s great to see our Embassy team working to reduce diseases in Cambodia, while at the same time helping to strengthen Cambodia’s growing public health research field.
If you’d like to learn more about NAMRU-2, check out a description of their work on the U.S. Embassy website here.