The Lake Clinic: Swimming Hospital



There is no basic medical healthcare in the isolated region of the Tonle Sap in Cambodia. While diseases such as pneumonia, diarrhoea and measles are treatable in the western world, they are the most common cause of death for little children in Cambodia.


The Lake region will be pro­vided with health care staff and medi­cation on water­ways.The hospital ship can reach even the most iso­lated families. The Lake Clinic pro­vides not only essential medical care but also public health education.




New donation phase: annual salary for "Doctor Rida". We introduce the doctor to you

Even a floating clinic needs a professional team. On board of the Lake Clinic is Doctor Hun Thourida or just "Doctor Rida".  She is Cambodian, but attended medical school in St. Petersburg Russia. She is quite young, having started medical school when she was 16. She is fluent in English, Russian and of course, Khmer. With your donation you help Doctor Rida doing a good job!  Read on

On the lake and at the villages with the mini clinic

Although here and there some installations are needed: the first floating mini-clinic is in operation since a few weeks. During the day it is a surgery, in the late afternoon it turns into a restaurant, at night into a dormitory for the staff. Julie Debuire accompys the TLC team as a volunteer for four month. In the blog she shares impressions and striking pictures: Read on

First Floating Mini-Clinic in operation

With a lot of help from friends and funders TLC is entering into a new phase. With the constructing of 5 floating clinics (Mobile Marine Mini-Clinics or "M3Cs") to place in the larger villages on the Tonle Sap Lake TLC will enhance medical care. In February 2012 the sixth clinic, funded through KIDS Canada, was completed and placed on the Stung Sen River . Read on

Out on the Lake - a field report

Jenny Shepard has been working as a TEFL teacher for many years and has made 3 previous visits to Cambodia. In 2006 she worked as a volunteer for four months with Mieko Morgan (Jon's wife) and Nhean Sakhem in the Capacity Building and Health Education Program alongside the Angkor Hospital for Children. Read on

New donation phase: TLC is getting bigger and needs our help!

In March 2011 The Lake Clinic expanded its geographical base to include 4 villages along the Stung Sen River, that flows from the neck of the Tonle Sap to Cambodia’s northern border with Thailand. The river remains navigable for the TLC-1 throughout the dry/low-water season, when the Tonle Sap Lake is too low for the boat. Read on

Along the Stung Sen River

In March of this year (2011) The Lake Clinic began providing health care to villages along the Stung Sen River. The Stung Sen runs from the "neck" of the Tonle Sap--where the Tonle Sap River meets the Tonle Sap Lake--and follows an extremely serpentine path North and East to ultimately end near the Thai border. Read on

News from TLC and its patients!

The TLC team did a great lake tour. In January the TLC covered a great distance to provide the dwellers of the swimming fihing villages of the Tonle Sap lake with medical assistance: Read on

Project Description

The inhabitants of the Tonle Sap Lakes region in Cambodia are an ethnically mixed group of Khmer, Cham and Vietnamese people whose lives are completely shielded from the outside world. Many of the villagers live a number of hours or even more than a day's journey away from medical care and staff and thousands of families are currently awaiting medical help. This project is just the beginning.   

The Lake Clinic project has set up healthcare facilities for impoverished community members in the Tonle Sap Lake district in the Siem Reap, Battambang and Kampong Cham provinces. A small hospital boat, dubbed TLC 1, acts as a mobile doctor's unit, serving a few speedboats as well as other floating mini-clinics that the team built themselves. Via this initiative, the crew of Cambodian medical practitioners and international volunteers can reach even the most far-flung patients.  

The Lake Clinic project consists of three concrete principles:

1. Basic health and dental care

The Lake Clinic focuses on providing basic medical and dental care for impoverished community members of the Tonle Sap Lake district in the Siem Reap, Battambang and Kampong Cham provinces, paying particular attention to children under 16 and women of child-bearing age.  

2. Health education

Another focal point of the project is health education (primary general healthcare) which provides a key foundation towards leading a healthy life. The following themes form part of the project's health education: Nutrition, sustainable gardening and agriculture in alignment with nature, clean water household and village hygiene immunisations, pregnancy medical care, natal care, critical thinking about the economic situation of each family  

3. Early diagnosis and treatment of common children's diseases

The Lake Clinic also carries out referrals relating to early diagnosis and treatment (secondary general healthcare) of common childhood diseases in a timely and tailored manner for illnesses including: cleft lip and cleft palate, club foot, nervous diseases, heart disease, amblyopia.

Within the project's framework lies the possibility for volunteer and collaborative activities with other NGOs.  Throughout the project, the villagers' livelihood, the lake and the environment will remain under surveillance through testing of the water quality, water depth and sediment in the lake as well as through education and development.

The Team

The Lake Clinic (TLC) team comprises local medical care personnel, voluntary doctors from overseas as well as local boat crew.   

Jon Morgan, Executive Director (January, 2007):

"In 1994 I journeyed by boat from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap for the first time. This was still during the days of Cambodia’s post-UN civil war -- when each political party had its own army; before the Khmer Rouge were fully pacified, and when both roads and waterways were being closely observed by hungry people with guns.It was then that I had my first impression of just some of the floating villages found on the Tonle Sap lake. Within the same photo frame children were defecating into the lake’s water while others swam and some washed the family dishes. Swollen bellies either from malnutrition or worms were evident everywhere. I turned towards my wife and said, 'This is a nightmare'. Thirteen years later and possessing the experience, skills and access to intellectual assistance that I then lacked, I am now in a position to return to the Tonle Sap and bring to those villages some of the health services and education that is so greatly needed."


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