Support Backpack Healthworker Teams in Burma

by Burma Humanitarian Mission
Support Backpack Healthworker Teams in Burma

Project Report | Oct 6, 2022
Voices of The Backpack Medics

By Jennifer Zurick | Executive Director

Here the medics speak in their own words about some of the patients and working conditions in Burma.

Medic 1 Northern Burma

"I’m the Field-in- Charge medic for a backpack medic team in Northern Burma. My team operates in northern Shan State, near the Kachin State border. There is fighting in this area between my people, the Pa’laung and Burmese army. The fighting has been going on since 2011.

"In an isolated village in northern Shan state, we found this boyl. Here, a medic has just given him some medicine for worms. She gave him the protocol treatment with mebendazoleWe told his family how to prevent worms from returning."

"His village does not have a good water supply. We stayed in the area for a week. With the help of the villagers, we built them a well. It should help this boy and others. 

"In a village, we held a clinic.

"Here, we take down the health statistics for the young boy. For his age, he is smaller and not as strong as other children. His mother says he is often slow and lethargic. We gave him a shot of B1 and other supplements to help, like Vitamin C.

"Malnutrition and food insecurity are constant worries for villagers like those here.

"In the village of Mxx, we had many villagers come see us.

"A medic examines a. She is a grandmother now and has a few problems. We found she had high blood pressure and talked to her about how to take care of that. We gave her some Atenolol to help for a bit.

"She also complained about her knees. There was a bump on her knee, but we could not fix it. We gave him some ibuprophin to help with the pain.

 “Here, a medic treats an infant. The baby had an eye infection. She helped the mother put antibiotic ointment on the eyes.

“We told the mother to wash her hands often when holding her baby. This is to stop the infection from spreading to her or others in her family. 

“Here, a medic talks to young children. She is telling them about good health habits. She is telling them to wear masks to fight COVID.”

Medic 2, Northern Burma 

 “In May, we came to an IDP camp. Here, we found a young girl with pneumonia. She had a high temperature and her skin felt hot. 

“We gave her anti-biotics and asprin to help with the fever. We told her mother to make sure she takes all the anti-biotic. 

“When we left 2 days later, she was feeling better. But, it will take more time for her. 

“In camps, there are no doctors. 

“In September, we came to an isolated village. 

“Here, a medic talks to a group of young children. In their village, there is not running water. We reminded the parents the importance of using latrines to help community health. 

“These children are waiting to get Vitamin A and deworming supplements.”

Medic 3, Northern Burma 

“Everybody calls me Mr Z.

“I’m a Field-in- Charge...far to the north in Burma. Since June of 2011, the Burma army has broke a ceasefire with my people. We’ve seen continuously attack since then. 

“I like what I do for my people. 

“I have been a medic for 13 years now. 

“My people have suffered war for a long time now. Many families live in isolated camps. Food is scarce. These children have never known their home village. In the IDP camp, we teach nutrition. Many are malnourished. Here, we are measuring the child to test their underdevelopment. 

“In May, we came to an IDP camp. A lot of people we waiting for us. We saw over 100 people in two days. 

“One challenge is teaching people about COVID. Some think it is just the flu. 

“Some people come to us who are ok. They like to be checked in case something is wrong. 

“In this camp, pneumonia and dysentery were the main treatments we did. We also helped deliver a baby! 

“In IDP camps, the people live in bad conditions. They have to walk to a stream for water and washing. 

“Here, we taught a health education class to about two dozen villagers, mainly mothers. We talk about the importance of cleaning and latrines. 

“Here, we check the baby boy for malnutrition. He’s pretty healthy and doing better than other children in the camp. 

“In an IDP camp, this woman came to us with her complaint about her sinuses and a fever. We were worried she might have COVID and told her she and her family should wear a mask outside their home. 

“We saw that she had a sinus infection as her forehead was painful when we touched it. We gave her some Doxycycline. 

“This woman came to use complaining about bladder pain. She also said she felt a burning feeling when she went to the bathroom. She showed the symptoms of a urinary track infection. 

“We gave her some anti-biotics. We told her to drink water and make sure the water is clean. 

 Here I am teaching a community health class to the families. I stress the importance of clean water, latrines, and washing hands. Washing hands is especially important for children to prevent worms. Many children are malnourished and worms makes their health worse. 

“In the village of NY we arrived late one day in September. No one had been here in a while. We were asked to set up a clinic right away. 

“Here, a medic is taking care of the first of a dozen young children. We treated a number of problems that night. Pneumonia. Dysentery. Worms. 

“The girl in pink had a cyst, but we waited for the morning to treat it. 

“The week before, about 30 families came to this village to escape the fighting near their homes. They are safer, but add to the needs of the villagers. “











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Organization Information

Burma Humanitarian Mission

Location: Washington, DC - USA
Project Leader:
Jennifer Zurick
Salt Lake City , UT United States
$9,289 raised of $13,000 goal
85 donations
$3,711 to go
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