Tonlé Sap, in northern Cambodia, is the largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia. During the May to October rainy season, it swells to six times its dry-season size, extending over 16,000 sq km – an area 200 times that of Hong Kong Island. Tonlé Sap has also long been one of the planet’s most productive inland fisheries. More than a million people depend on the lake for their livelihood, and about 100,000 live in its vicinity. While many dwell in stilted villages on the lake’s floodplain, the poorest huddle in floating communities on Tonlé Sap itself, sometimes hours from dry land. Their homes are often fragile, rain-leaking shacks cobbled together from woven reeds, scraps of plywood, tin sheets and tarpaulins, all lashed to wooden or bamboo rafts kept afloat on air-filled oil drums. They are among the most isolated communities in Cambodia, the vast majority relying on subsistence fishing for their survival. According to the World Health Organisation, Cambodia has just 1.7 doctors for every 10,000 people (Hong Kong has close to 20, according to government figures released last year). Floating communities on the lake have long had access to zero. American Jon Morgan first became troubled by the lack of health care on Tonlé Sap in the 1990s, after completing his master’s in public health at the University of Hawaii. Morgan, who went on to co-found the Angkor Hospital for Children, in nearby Siem Reap, noted the lake dwellers’ poverty, lack of education, poor nutrition and hygiene. Add to that the high fees for treatment, available only far from home, and it was a perfect storm of preventable diseases and treatable injuries that could ruin or end lives. “I thought, my God, this is a nightmare,” says Morgan, now 67. “Somebody has to do something.” His solution was The Lake Clinic – Cambodia (going, aptly, by the acronym TLC), which became a reality in 2007 and has grown in scope and ambition ever since. Through the years, TLC has provided more than 240,000 individual medical services to people living on Tonlé Sap, and today operates five “floating clinics” – four on the lake and one on the adjoining Stung Sen River – catering to more than 10,000 inhabitants in nine of the most underserved floating communities. With five doctors, two nurses, four midwives, a dental nurse and support staff, funded purely by private donations, TLC’s two home-grown medical teams each make a three-day trip into the field every week. They live and work on offshore facilities, providing free medical care and health education to the most forgotten people in one of Asia’s poorest countries.