M. is a 27 years old guy living in a village in Kawthaung township, in the southern part of Myanmar. He used to work as a carpenter building wood furniture with his father until he got a stroke and the situation became dramatic.
The stroke damaged the use of his arms and his leg became very weak so he got injured by falling from the stairs. He is laying on a bed for two months and the family cannot afford medical bills for medicine and specific assistance. The pain and the bed sores make him eat as little as possible, when Medacross doctors came to his house to visit him he barely looks at them, seems to have no interest in the surroundings and suffered from acute urine retention that can easily transform into an emergency.
MedAcross team define a post-stroke therapy for M. and include him in the remote assistance for Non Communicable disease patients, which consists of training Community Health Volunteers in each village to assist chronic patients in strict connection with our medical team, providing medicines and preventing the worsening of illness.
With your help, our Mobile Clinic can reach patients like M. reshaping the future of young Myanmar patients and families during the current crisis.
These days of summer are thrilling for us, right now Daniele, MedAcross president and radiology professor, and Erika, our country manager are in Thailand to meet the Myanmar staff in Ranong, at the border with Myanmar.
Since 202 our international staff can't travel to Myanmar, due to the Covid19 first and for visas difficulties later. During the past weeks, the Thai government allows Myanmar citizens to spend a few days in the country, making possible the reunion with our amazing Burmese staff! We are excited to see them and we planned a two days meeting to discuss new strategies to continue providing free medical care to Burmese patients through mobile clinics, telemedicine and community education.
In the last months, the MedAcross Mobile Clinics visited several villages in both the islands of the Lampi archipelago and the rubber and oil palm plantations in Kawthaung district, providing medical examinations and medicines for residents with health problems. The MedAcross Mobile Clinic is always integrated with the telemedicine project to constantly monitor patients living in isolated and inaccessible areas for several months of the year, watch the project video.
Since Myanmar's coup, the activities of MedAcross have continued with the limitations demanded by the government that require checkpoints between towns and villages and a restriction on meetings with more than 10 people.
These limitations are particularly difficult for the patients living in the isolated villages of Kawthaung, where it is challenging to access in medications. For several months, it was not possible to reach patients with the Mobile Clinic. In order to continue to provide health care to those who remained isolated, we thought of a solution that we had in mind for some time: telemedicine applied to the Mobile Clinic.
The medical staff of MedAcross has activated specific training for some particularly capable volunteers living in remote villages. They were trained on how to take the vital signs of patients suffering from chronic diseases, as well as the management of common diseases that do not require specific medical prescriptions (e.g. common articular pains, headaches and stomach aches). Volunteers have become a point of reference for their villages, especially when the Mobile Clinic cannot reach them. They report patients' vital signs to our staff by phone, creating long-distance consultations followed by the delivery of free medicines.
MedAcross has been planning for some time to train communities to improve health conditions from the inside with villagers. The pandemic and the Burmese crisis have accelerated this process, aiming to make communities more resilient and active in terms of their health condition.
Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)
Finding the time to look back it's always difficult, it just never seems the right time because the present is constantly knocking at the door asking to solve problems.
Yet it is useful to understand how many steps have already been taken, how many challenges we have overcome, especially if the period concerns a pandemic, a lock-down and many other problems!
For MedAcross, 2020 meant above all teamwork, it was strange but we have never felt so close to our Burmese doctors as in the months of lock-down. From a distance, we were able to plan and carry out Covid-19 prevention programs and to continue our medical activities.
Kawthaung hospital works with only 2 doctors, at the moment only the emergency room is operational.
For 7 months, surgery, basic care, and preventive actions have been suspended for millions of people. Without vaccines and with contagious variants, COVID is corroding the hopes of Burmese people. In Kawthaung, patients with severe respiratory problems are treated by nurses who administer oxygen. Oxygen cylinders, like medicines, are paid for by patients.
To comply with the total lockdown imposed by the government, our activities are also suspended.
But when you know you can help, you can't really sit still. This is why our doctors have held many meetings to understand how to support the citizens of Kawthaung. At the moment we have already donated to the Kawthaung hospital:
10 CYLINDERS OF OXYGEN for patients of the covid exhibit
3 OXYGEN CONCENTRATORS
500 QUICK TESTS for covid
500 N95 MASKS and 500 VISORS for healthcare personnel
This is just a small step of solidarity from MedAcross staff. We are planning to do much, much more to help people in need of healthcare in Myanmar.
Keep giving your support to be able to help the most fragile people in Myanmar, spread our message!
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