Mission January 2019, Talos dispensary

Report of our interventions at the Talos dispensary, Moeung Russei district in traditional Chinese medicine from Monday January 21 to Thursday January 24, 2019.

Genesis of the project:

Lyna’s uncle participated in the construction of a school in this village, and the friendly teacher of Mam Satha, head of the clinic, intervened with him when she learned of the creation of the association. For us, this strong and concrete demand seemed obvious to us from the start for our establishment with the most disadvantaged population. Reality on the ground has demonstrated the correctness of our intuition.

The contacts made upstream and the letters sent facilitated our integration because we were expected.

1st day in Talos:

Monday morning by motorbike taxi we arrive at the dispensary …. The beauty and serenity that emanated from the place and the carers, all these colors and calm were a joy and a feeling that we were going to be well here.

Mam Satha and Vireak Do (translator / interpreter) were very helpful from the start in our relationship with the authorities and the villagers.

Our meeting with the village chief, in the presence of the 9 other village chiefs in the district, allowed us to present and hear their requests. Despite the ministerial authorizations not yet obtained, we had orally and then in writing a request for treatment intervention in our specialty from the population.

We then met Mr Peov Sovamarin, Director of Moeung Russei Hospital and three administrative regions, representing 13 dispensaries (including 9 for Moeung Russei). The hospital has worked on various projects (cancer, infectious, etc.) and several NGOs, including MSF.

Acupuncture seems to be a care technique that attracts their attention, a very clear demand appears to train the staff, and for this, the Director provides us with a room and computer equipment. He would also like us to work in collaboration with his teams on the other dispensaries.

Mam Satha has selected the people, Vireak on a basic questionnaire begins the interrogations on the general information and the reason for consultation. This questionnaire will evolve in the coming days, it will deepen it having heard the important points when asking our diagnosis, which for him will involve him even more in the team. We also greatly appreciated his attention to the elderly, his discretion with women and his great availability.

Until 5 p.m. we will treat 8 people (5 women, 3 men).

The pathologies are shoulder, hip and knee pain, often old, due to working conditions or following a trauma (fall, accident).

One of the men has sciatica-like pain with insensitivity of the entire right leg;

One of the women linked her hip pain to the removal of the uterus several years ago.

We quickly see that symptomatic demands have a deeper cause and that they are often associated with other problems. Due to the limited time we have, we explain our approach by devoting ourselves to relieving pain.

Out of 41 people received, 8 VAS (visual analog scale) were carried out:

Number of persons Number of points less at the end of the session
2 2 points
4 3 points
1 4 points

The second day :

From 8 am to 5 pm we will see 10 people in consultation. Again the reasons are pains that concentrate on the joints of the shoulders, hands, knees and lower back, with most often signs of cold, which we warm with moxas on needles. Many people complain of headaches, dizziness, but also nightmares, the old psychological impact is mentioned and our help will be more with the techniques of tuina (therapeutic massage) which will bring each time a soothing, a new well-being for the patients, an old lady telling us: it looks like it’s beautiful in my head.

The third day :

We receive 11 people, the pain is more intense: congenital malformation, hemiplegia for 10 years, rupture of aneurysm 8 months ago… .. Word of mouth worked, it seems positive on patient feedback, fear of needles is not an obstacle to our practice, there is a huge confidence and we can work in all serenity, moreover the calm, the kindness and the respect of all facilitated our concentration and our listening. The tuina also brought relaxation and well-being for both the villagers and the therapists, the ease and flexibility that everyone felt after the sessions was a joy to live, because if we were convinced of our knowledge- to do, we also had to convince and the translations of thanks made by Vireak comforted us in our practice.

The fourth day :

We are seeing 4 people for a second session, unfortunately the queue does not allow us to see more, we will be able to see 11 more new patients on this last day. The demands are still around joint pain, but also problems of hypertension, heart palpitations. Psychic concerns are often mentioned.

Some people after the session and feel better, want to stop their treatment which we do not recommend.

We are surprised at the general good health of the people, even if there are certain insufficiencies of blood in particular, the bodies are healthy, the personal hygiene, rigorous dress. No nutrition concerns noted.

There was total acceptance of the needles, as well as that of undressing, wearing a sarong, asking Vireak to go behind the door and be ready to translate either the words of the patients or our questions.


Women / men: out of 41 people treated

Women Men
27 14

We ended these three and a half days with a shared meal, prepared by the dispensary team, Mr Peov and another director of the hospital were invited. After taking the advice of the caregivers and the villagers who were waiting their turn, Mr Peov reiterated his requests for training in acupuncture for his hospital teams and for the association’s presence in Talos over the long term and if possible with other dispensaries.

An appointment is made in November with a team of 6 practitioners, the Talos dispensary, we will provide the necessary parts and the new manager will take over from Mam Satha with the same enthusiasm.