Formula for success
After two years' work experience in Cambodia, Kerry Davies talks about how she set up and carried out a project with local staff to tackle the issues involved in identifying and treating children with malnutrition
Before applying to medical school as a mature student, I spent two years working with the Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) in Cambodia. The VSO provides advisers to non-governmental and international organisations to work at provincial and central level (box 1). Through VSO I worked as a hospital management adviser for Unicef in a remote hospital in Svay Rieng province. When I first arrived in Cambodia, I was overwhelmed by the size of the problems. I just didn't know where to begin.
Cambodia is one of the world's least developed countries with an under five mortality of 12.2% and a life expectancy of 54 years. Only 25% of the rural population have access to clean water and 10% to sanitation.1 Although severe malnutrition exists in Cambodia it has never been identified as a large problem both in terms of the number of children with malnutrition or staff capacity to manage the