Utility Vehicles To Fight Leprosy
All year round, CIOMAL’s teams travel the provinces of Cambodia to fight leprosy and help those affected and their families live decent lives. Robust sturdy vehicles are indispensable to their mission.
For over 25 years, CIOMAL’s teams have crisscrossed Cambodia to be as close as possible to those affected by leprosy and their families, who often live in remote areas hard to reach. They have been rejected by their communities or chosen to leave out of shame and settled in inhospitable places outside of villages, living in extreme poverty.
To reach some of these families, CIOMAL vehicles have to drive on tracks running through forests or rice fields for hours, usually on rough dirt roads. Cambodian roads are often ridden with potholes, meaning that they are extremely hard to drive on and vehicles have to be remarkably resilient. In the rainy season, cars can get stuck in the mud whereas in the dry season, they have to contend with crater-sized holes on the roads.
Then, CIOMAL’s social workers have to walk under the scorching sun in the dry season or through muddy fields in the r ainy season. Reaching these families is crucial to establish a correct assessment of their living standard and therefore determine the right support to provide them with. Sometimes, it is also the only way for CIOMAL’s social workers to get in touch with some people with leprosy that have been ostracized by society.
CIOMAL’s teams also carry out early detection campaigns throughout the country. These campaigns, which have contributed to the elimination of leprosy in Cambodia, involve visiting every person that was formerly affected by leprosy and inspecting those close to them – whether relatives or neighbors – in a radius of 200m around their home. Any new case that is discovered during these inspections receives treatment (rifampicin) right away, which immediately puts a stop to contagion risks.
Such crucial work could not be done without quality utility vehicles.