For several years now, Side by Side International (SBSI) has been exporting humanitarian aid in the form of emergency vehicles, such as ambulances, to various countries in Asia and Africa, and in particular to Cambodia. SBSI focuses most of their work in Cambodia, doing much to strengthen the medical infrastructure of the country as follows:
Emergency Medical Response Service (911 Equivalent)
SBSI shipped to Cambodia a number of ambulances, fire trucks, mobile command units and other emergency vehicles, plus medical equipment, for the express purpose of establishing an Emergency Medical Response System (EMS) for Cambodia (known as “119” locally).
SBSI worked with the Cambodian government and local partners to accomplish this endeavor. While private ambulances are normally subject to regulation, the Ministry of Health appointed SBSI as the organization to promote nationwide development of the emergency medical system. This indicated the Cambodian government’s recognition of SBSI as a comprehensive coordinator for nationwide deployment of disaster and emergency related support activities. As a result, SBSI proactively deliberates with other NGOs and related organizations involved in these areas, playing a coordination role for more efficient aid.
Pictured above are the first four ambulances (November 2008) which SBSI sent to Cambodia with funding granted from the Japanese government. The ambulances were officially donated to the Minister of Health of Cambodia, also accompanied by the Cambodian Secretary of State and a top representative from the Japanese Embassy (See above photo).
Additionally, SBSI coordinated the dispatch of Japanese experts to train Cambodian ambulance teams at national hospitals. Above, members of the Japanese non-profit organization, TICO, train emergency paramedics and nurses in Cambodia. They have also established a network system with public hospitals and the administration.
Another organization partnering with Side by Side International is JPR, a Japanese organization training Cambodians in paramedic rescue techniques. Coupled with this undertaking, the American “Medical Team International” (MTI) completed the first emergency medical service manual and instructional DVD in the Cambodian language, which is being incorporated into the training package.
Side by Side International's point man in Cambodia is intricately involved in the creation of the 911 system, as well as the design and construction of a medical health center in Koh Kong province.
SBSI continues its efforts to work closely with the Cambodian Government in the nationwide deployment of disaster and emergency related support activities, as well as assuming a coordination role for more efficient aid.