Sep 8, 2020

The Mobile Clinic on the Mergui islands

I don't know if you are now still enjoying some vacations at seaside or super busy in the office fighting against mosquitoes and working deadlines.
Now you can take a moment to distract yourself from your routine to travel through Myanmar islands with Medacross.

But here, as you well know MedAcross is not a travel agency and even if I will tell you about the islands, it will be necessary to make an effort not to let the imagination run wild with a cocktail on the beach.
The islands that we reach with the Boat Clinic are not only natural paradises often threatened by aggressive fishing by large international companies, they are also the home of many people living in some of the most untouched and remote places on earth.

During the last Boat Clinic at Aung Myanmar village we visited over 70 patients who live many kilometers away from the first hospital. Among the waiting patients, a little girl also arrived accompanied by her grandmother and our doctors immediately understood that something was wrong with her.
The grandmother learned of our arrival from a neighbor and arrived so worried at the place where we set up the visiting area because for some time the child, when she is agitated, has been spending long moments without breathing.

Her name is Poe Poe and she has 2 years old. The doctors examined the child with attention, noting that she showed signs of stunting and denutrition. The baby was born seven-months from a natural birth in the village, without any control during pregnancy and with only the help of a midwife, the norm for many women in Myanmar.
This situation causes 2,700 deaths during childbirth every year and causes serious problems for the growth of children born in isolated villages.
Helping this little girl is not easy because for an accurate diagnosis she will need to travel 4 hours, crossing the sea during rainy season, but we will make every effort to take this child to the hospital for more thorough checks.

May 12, 2020

Coronavirus in Myanmar's villages: our actions

Quarantine centers in rural villages
Quarantine centers in rural villages

In Myanmar, the Coronavirus' alert has started during the first days of April 2020.

By that time the government has proclaimed a national lockdown since the Covid-19 positive cases have started to rise. We believe that if the pandemic were to spread in the Kawthaung region, the few health resources available would be exhausted within a few days.

Kawthaung hospital is the centre of reference for all Coronavirus cases in the district, despite being without intensive care, without ventilators and with only 4 beds for the most serious patients. For these reasons, it is essential to concentrate all efforts on prevention to avoid an announced disaster. MedAcross has decided to act in a capillary way, in collaboration with the health authorities of the region to bring timely aid where it is needed most. Here is what we are doing:
  • Distribution of information material about Covid-19 in rural villages and plantations: MedAcross has decided to prepare vinyl posters and records that explain in a practical way the hygiene rules to the populations living in the most isolated areas.
  • Support for quarantine centres: in the Kawthaung district 11 quarantine centres have been set up for Covid-19 suspected people, these simple places are managed by volunteers without medical preparation or masks (in the photo you can see the centre of Aung bar). We decide to take care of these places distributing surgical masks and sanitizing gel for the volunteers and patients of the centres.
  • Organization of mobile clinics under Covid-19: before the pandemic, the days of Clinica Mobile were long-awaited by the villagers who created long lines to be treated. Our staff is working with local authorities to organize safety visits to villages, respecting the correct distances to prevent the virus.
  • Distribution of non-woven fabric masks to the most fragile in Kawthaung district: many people are dealing with the lockdown in narrow places like 16 square metres for a family of 5 people. MedAcross want to protect the most fragile families that cannot afford to buy face masks.

In places where hospitals do not have intensive care, the only chance we can have against Coronavirus is the prevention.  If the pandemic were to spread uncontrollably, many people would die without any hospital care. This is why we are giving extreme care to the health of our patients, offering quality medical helth in a safe places.

MedAcross patient visit during covid-19
MedAcross patient visit during covid-19
MedAcross covid-19 awareness activity
MedAcross covid-19 awareness activity
Jan 13, 2020

Pediatric training for our local staff

Do you know how many kilometers separate Turin, our Italian headquarter, from Kawthang, the city in southern Myanmar where MedAcross operates?
They are exactly 9,233.47 km and it is the journey that Dr. Luca Cordero has made to reach the medical staff of MedAcross in Myanmar.

Luca Cordero di Montezemolo is the president of the Scientific Committee of MedAcross and is a professor of Pediatrics at the University of Turin. He made this long journey to take a close look at the daily work of our new Burmese doctors: Thin Thin and Hsu Nandar.

Here are the first impressions of Doctor Luca:
"I arrived yesterday and the time zone makes the alarm even more difficult. Today I leave with the Mobile Clinic to reach the village of Lone Phaw, on the border with Thailand, the journey is long and the day starts at half past six in the morning.
Our logistician, Htin Lin, drives the pick up where we have equipped the Mobile Clinic. After just over an hour's journey on the main road, we turn towards the dirt road that leads to the plantations. Any other smaller vehicle would struggle to travel the road. Despite the jolts, the mood is cheerful: the nurses and doctors talk and hum along the way, making the two-hour off-road journey to reach Lone Phaw very pleasant .
When we arrive there are already about thirty patients waiting for us. We set up the waiting room under a canopy by the river that separates us from Thailand and we have all the medical material to start the visits. The doctors and nurses divide the tasks so that they can visit all the patients, who have increased in the meantime.
The visits take all day and I am pleased to note that the two doctors, despite their young age, have excellent skills in managing patients. They are careful in understanding the malaise of the patient they face and in providing adequate care."
The inhabitants of Lone Phaw live nearby plantations and cannot afford to buy the medicines they need. They live in places so remote that the close pharmacy is far 3/4 hours drive (imagine you have to walk 80 km to buy an antibiotic!). When we visit chronic patients in the Mobile Clinic, we provide them with the treatment that can last until we return, which occurs after about a month. Insulin for diabetics is critical, but the costs of sustaining these treatments are our biggest challenge. "

The work of our medical staff in Myanmar is not easy, every day the doctors and nurses work to visit children with malnutrition problems and to recognize respiratory or infectious diseases. This is way we need to keep working on their specialistic knowledge, in order they're prepared to treat every needy patient.

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