Of particular concern to Starfish is the health status of Cambodia’s children, rated as one of the gravest in the world. Over 40 percent of children under five are malnourished. The mortality rate for children under five is also one of the highest in the region, with an average of 141 deaths for every 1000 five-year-olds. The public medical system in Cambodia is basic and struggling under the weight of corruption of the officials, doctors and nurses who are employed by public hospitals.
Many Cambodian families cannot access medical care due to financial difficulties or lack of knowledge. Many die from treatable infectious diseases including diarrhea, pneumonia, malaria and typhoid. They would survive if their bodies were not weak and malnourished.
People struggle to find money to pay for transport to clinics or hospitals as well as the recommended treatments and medications. The situation is desperate and many families lose everything while attempting to find the money to pay for their care and the care of loved ones.
We believe that it is time to demand change so that the public health system will eventually be a beneficial social service for all Cambodians.
We help our clients will all aspects of medical costs including medications, treatments and procedures, transportation costs and food support for the patient and their family while in the hospital. When possible we refer clients to hospitals and organizations who provide free care to patients.
Starfish also provides basic educational programs about nutrition to give Cambodians a better understanding of the correlation between food and good health.