Healthcare for 2000 Rural Villagers in Myanmar

by MedAcross
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Healthcare for 2000 Rural Villagers in Myanmar
Healthcare for 2000 Rural Villagers in Myanmar
Healthcare for 2000 Rural Villagers in Myanmar
Healthcare for 2000 Rural Villagers in Myanmar
Healthcare for 2000 Rural Villagers in Myanmar
Healthcare for 2000 Rural Villagers in Myanmar
Healthcare for 2000 Rural Villagers in Myanmar
Healthcare for 2000 Rural Villagers in Myanmar
Healthcare for 2000 Rural Villagers in Myanmar
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
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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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Great news from Myanmar!

In September MedAcross completed the feasibility study in preparation of Mobile Clinic program extension that will provides for:

- empowerment of health services in the area of Aung Bar, in the north of the Kawthaung District and in the heart of oil palm plantations;

- activation of health services in the area of the natural park of Lampi trought Boat Clinic;

- implementation of a health promotion program aimed at students of 10 schools adjacent to the sites visited by the Mobile Clinic program.

The project also involves capacity building activities addressed to the operators of the Rural Health Center (R.H.C.), 10 basic facilities dedicated to child delivery, pregnancies assistance, vaccinations and first aid, and the strengthening of the services offered by the Mobile Clinic program. 

Thanks to this program exthension, over 17.000 people will be directly treated as patients or involved in the education and training acritivties.

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Villages and plantations served by Mobile Clinic
Villages and plantations served by Mobile Clinic

On Saturday 25 May 2019, Medacross' team went on a mission to Y-Den Village, 45 miles from Kawtahung.
Despite the distance is the same as with Taiwan palm oil plantation and Nam-Tom Village, it takes much longer to reach Y-Den. About 4 and a half hours for the outward journey and 4 hours for the return journey. After an hour's journey by the main road, the remaining route winds through palm oil plantations. The speed cannot be high given the road, weather conditions and also many trucks and workers occupy the roads.
Once in the village, we settled in a newly built school with a large garden outside. The patients were many, over 120, but we were able to register and visit all of them. 
Lunch break we ate in the village chief's house. Inside the house there is a small pharmacy where the owner does everything possible to assist people for free. Once a month the owner goes to Kawthaung to supply the pharmacy with the money obtained from the offers of the villagers.

The Y-Den mission has brought together several villages:
TZK, Ever Green, Num Tung, Aung Thar Yar, Aye Mya Thar Yar, Aye Mya Minglar and Myaing Thar Yar.

The total number of villages and plantations served is now 12, with over 2000 patients.

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Mobile Clinic arrival in Kawthaung
Mobile Clinic arrival in Kawthaung

Dear friend,

we are happy to announce that, with the help of hundreds of small and big donors like you, Medacross had been able to donate a new Mobile Clinic vehicle that will allow our medical staff to visit rural villages and plantations 6 days/week.

Up to now, we are already treating more than 2.000 patients. After this achievement, Medacross will guarantee free medical services and medicines to over 5.000 people!

Everyday we dedicate our work to all the vulnerable children and families beliving in us to ensure better living conditions for the women and men of tomorrow.

But we are just at the beginning and there is still so much to do.

Dozens of villages to reach.

Hundreds kilometers to cover.

Thousands of children to save.

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Location: Turin, Piedmont - Italy
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Project Leader:
Erika Vitale
Turin, Italy
$138,526 raised of $170,000 goal
451 donations
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