GlobeMed at Dartmouth

GlobeMed at Dartmouth is a student-led nonprofit organization based at Dartmouth College which aims to improve the health of people living in poverty. Through our partnership with the Kachin Women's Association Thailand (KWAT), an NGO based in Chiang Mai, Thailand, we seek to support Burmese women and children displaced by ethnic conflict in the Kachin State of Burma.
Jun 24, 2015

Summer Updates and GROW Trip

GlobeMed and KWAT members translate testimonials
GlobeMed and KWAT members translate testimonials

Dear Donors,

It's summer, which not only means wonderful weather, but marks an opportunity for GlobeMed at Dartmouth to interact more directly with our partner organization, the Kachin Women's Association Thailand, with our annual GROW trip! 

This year, three of our members traveled to Chiang Mai, Thailand earlier in June to work with members at KWAT headquarters for two months: Since arriving, they have been working on assignments including putting together the annual activity report detailing KWAT's activities for donors and other interested persons, giving English lessons to members of KWAT and novice monks, and translating testimonials of the human rights violations on the Kachin by the Burmese army. This work, particularly the latter, has reminded us of the real people affected by the conflict in Burma. Writer and historian Marcus Rediker wrote that statistics are a violent abstraction of the real human cost of sufferring. Similarly, our GROW trip members wrote that the testimonials consisted of "story after story of unwarranted shootings and cold-blooded rapes" that left them feeling "horrified, emotionally drained, and intrigued...[and] more connected to the organization than ever.

Despite the tragedies of these stories, these testimonials remind us of the GROW trip also illustrate the importance of the work done by our partner organization and why we want to and need to continue our efforts with KWAT. In addition, our members report positive interactions with the KWAT members and novice monks, from introducing Skippy peanut butter to the women at KWAT to petting tigers and exploring the mountain of Doi Suthep. We are excited to see the cultural exchange occurring between GlobeMed at Dartmouth and KWAT. 

We are gratified to see the effect of our work, thanks to generous donations from people like you: Last year, we focused much of our work towards funding the Ja Reng Yang Clinic in Mai Ja Yang, and our GROW trip members report that the clinic serviced 13,464 Kachin patients in 2014, providing testing for patients' glucose levels and HIV, heptatis B/C, and malaria statuses. Each of those 13,464 patients is a real human being with a unique, individual story, that KWAT, we, and yourselves have contributed to helping. This year, our main project aimed to help mothers requiring surgery or hospitalization due to complications during childbirth by creating an emergency fund. We hope to continue to see the effects of our work, your contributions, and, of course, the hard and magnanimous work of KWAT -- and to keep you, our generous donors, up-to-date! 

Thank you, again, for being a part of this valuable work.

Best wishes,

Hae-Lin Cho 

Thank you from GlobeMed at Dartmouth!
Thank you from GlobeMed at Dartmouth!
Apr 7, 2015

Spring Updates

This baby was treated for pneumonia at the clinic.
This baby was treated for pneumonia at the clinic.

Dear Donors,

Greetings from sunny New Hampshire!

As GlobeMed at Dartmouth ends its fourth year of partnership with the Kachin Women’s Organization Thailand (KWAT), we would like to take a moment to share with you some personal stories about a few of the people we have helped.

One of our projects with KWAT is upkeep of a clinic in Mai Ja Yang, on the China-Burma border. This small medical center cares for a large population of people displaced from their homes by the ethnic conflict between the Burmese Army and Kachin rebels.

In this area, medical care is difficult to come by. Something that would be easily treated elsewhere can be a death sentence, particularly for young children and infants. For example, one woman brought a three-month-old baby to the clinic because he was having trouble breathing. He was suffering from late stage pneumonia, which nearly proved fatal. The clinic, however, was able to provide him with oxygen and antibiotics, and he lived.

Our major project this year was the creation of a fund for mothers who need to be referred to a Chinese hospital for C-sections, as the clinic does not have the capacity to carry out surgeries. Whether a pre-planned situation or an emergency, transportation costs and medical bills are very expensive, and KWAT often has to deal with them as many displaced people have virtually no money. Often, pregnant women come to the clinic for prenatal care and test positive for HIV. To prevent their babies from contracting the virus, the infants must be delivered via C-section. Many other complications that arise during pregnancy can also require referral to a larger hospital.

KWAT’s programs would not be nearly as successful without continual donations from people like you. As we end this school year, we want to show our appreciation one last time. Thank you for being a part of this effort to provide equitable health care to people being persecuted by their own government and largely ignored by the international media. We could not do it without you.

With gratitude,

Lisa Carson

A healthy mother and child, post-C-section.
A healthy mother and child, post-C-section.
Because of KWAT, this child was born HIV-negative.
Because of KWAT, this child was born HIV-negative.
Jan 6, 2015

Happy New Year!

Computer skills give young people more options
Computer skills give young people more options

Dear Donors, 

As we begin the 2015, I would like to thank you for your generous support since this project started. We have had many successes, from completing the construction and stocking of a diagnostic laboratory to enhancing Dartmouth students’ understanding about the conflict between the Burmese Army and Kachin State. 

This year, GlobeMed will continue to fund KWAT’s health programs. One major health issue in Kachin State that has been in the news lately is drug addiction, particularly concerning opium and heroin. A senior member of KWAT explained the situation to me as follows: Kachin State is rich in jade. There is a trend in young men dropping out of school because they think they can strike it rich in the mines. Instead, they end up experimenting with opium, which is readily available in mining communities. Eventually, smoking all the opium they can buy with their earnings from the mines does not provide enough of a high, and they switch to smoking, then injecting, heroin. Among other health problems, this leads to high rates of HIV/AIDS in mining areas. Since all their income goes to buying drugs, they are stuck in this cycle.

KWAT combats drug addiction through several of its programs (many of which you have helped us fund). Health education in both schools and IDP camps warns adolescents about the dangers of drug use. Capacity building programs give people alternatives to mining and allow them to make a living elsewhere. The health outreach mobile clinics and the permanent health center at Ma Jai Yang provide diagnosis and treatment for HIV/AIDS and offer medical care to drug users. The documentation and research program publishes information on drugs and related issues so that people worldwide are made aware of this problem. For their latest report, please see http://www.kachinwomen.com/images/7Oct14Report/silent_offensive_drug_report_english.pdf.

With your help, KWAT is able to do a great deal to offset the damage being done to Kachin communities by the civil war in Burma. Thank you again for your continued support, and I look forward to seeing what we can do together this year!

With gratitude,

Lisa Carson

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