By: Sarah Schafer and Teal Gibo
Today we visited the Mae Tao Clinic. This clinic serves Burmese refugees and the occasional Thai because the refugees are unable to receive care elsewhere.
Some statistics are:
- 300-400 patients are seen daily
- They fit around 250 prosthetics yearly
- About 15 babies are delivered daily
The clinic offered many different services for the patients. Some of these include: eye care, dental care, labor and delivery, basic surgeries, injuries, prosthetics, pediatrics, nutrient deficiencies, and wellness. The clinic was generous enough to give us a tour of all these different areas. We were taken aback by the large number of patents scattered throughout the clinic.
The majority of prosthetic cases we saw were for land mine accidents. This shocked us because everyday we take for granted the fact that in the US we won’t ever step on a land mine. In addition, vaccinations are a daily norm in the United States while here, it’s a rarity for families to receive simple preventative care.
We were astounded by the differences in American healthcare and what was offered at this non-profit clinic. While the same quality of care was provided, the environment was entirely different. For example, in the United States, our hospitals offer labor and delivery rooms that were about the same size as a room at the Mae Tao Clinic where we observed about fifteen different women who were either in labor or who’d just delivered. This goes to show that when treating patients, you must adapt to your situation. Adaptation is also a critical aspect of global citizenship and it was great to see this in acton.
By: Tiffany Henry and Katherine Stoner
As we reflect on the past month and all of our experiences in Thailand, two inspirational men stuck out to us. Mechai and Michael taught us the importance of thinking outside of the box and taking action.
The center we visited in Mae Sot is a non-profit organization that trains backpack medics. The goal of the backpack medic is to administer healthcare services to villages in Burma who have no access to medical care. The medics must travel long distances across strenuous terrain and courageously sneak into high risk conflict areas to help serve the people in these remote villages. They bring crucial medical supplies and educate the people on sustainable health care.
Continue reading Thinking Outside of the Box & Taking Action
By: Alex Guinney and Feli Anne Hipol
Try and imagine going to a refugee clinic where individuals have minimal options and this place is their last hope. Well, Dr. Cynthia’s Mao Tao Clinic is exactly that place, where the Thai people allow the clinic to help those who are fleeing from the chaos in Burma. The clinic is located in Mae Sot, Thailand where our school group is currently located and where we had the privilege to go visit and take in a greater understanding of this community on the border and the medical needs of the many refugees.
Nothing could have prepared me for the experience I had while being toured around the clinic and it’s many facilities each with a specific focus. I found the dental care room and the prosthetics room to be the most interesting, because of the tools used or lack of tools used and the craft associated with them. There was only one dental chair that was simple and looked aged and not much supplies stored within the area, and with looking around at the many numbers of children and adults, I wondered if it met the needs for the community. And there were prosthetics I have never seen before so I was very intrigued by the craft,and how they go about meeting the needs of the refugees whom many had been injured by war and basically all patients were male. They did simple leg prosthetics, as to which I was able to see a refugee who was the owner of two prothetic legs and was able to get around rather efficiently.I think that the hardest part of the whole visit was the surgical center and the children’s care center. They were not very crowded when we Continue reading Mae Tao Clinic-May 12, 2011
By: Siri Wieringa and Kaylene Moulton
Burma is home to one of the longest running secret civil wars in the world. Lasting over 50 years, the country has been run by a succession of military governments (Bowles, 11). The violence that has been tearing Burma apart has caused citizens to flee the country. “Nearly one million people have fled Burma for relative safety of Thailand over the last two decades” (Lang, 369). Many go to refugee camps along the border of Burma in Thailand. “At the beginning of 1994, 72,000 refugees lived in 30 camps, of which the largest housed 8,000 people; by mid 1998, 110,000 refugees lived in 19 camps, with the largest housing over 30,000 people” (Bowles, 11). Refugee camps along the Burmese and Thailand border have become more and more prevent as the years have gone on. “About 142, 000 Burmese refugees reside as a ‘temporarily displaced people’ in one of the nine official refugee camps, while an estimated two million live and work outside the camp, either legally registered as migrant workers or more likely illegally”(284).
Continue reading An Escape Along the Thai Border: Burmese Refugees