A boat mobile clinic in the Irrawaddy Delta. Medical and training activity in Myanmar – hospital equipment, screenings, and dental care
Why do we help in Myanmar?
According to WHO data, in Myanmar, there is one of the world’s lowest rates of qualified medical personnel, which amounts to 1.3 per 1000 inhabitants. As a result of many years of political isolation, Myanmar is counted among the least developed countries in Asia.
The Irrawaddy Delta, due to geographical conditions and poverty of the area, has a very poorly developed infrastructure. One of the regions most neglected and exposed to natural disasters is the municipality of Wakema, in which we have been providing aid and education since 2016.
Everything that we have started is continued by the local community. Thanks to this, we feel that our help is well-thought-out and effective.
How do we help in Myanmar?
Some families living in the Irrawaddy River delta have difficulty getting to health centres or to a hospital. It is for them that we launch a boat mobile clinic. This is the only such medical unit from Poland in the world. It will provide access to medical care for residents of remote corners of Wakema.
The boat is equipped with a power generator and a water tank. A well-lit consultation room is located below the deck. On the deck, there is a mobile ECG and ultrasound devices, dental chair, surgical kits, small diagnostic equipment, including fast diagnostic strip tests for malaria, HIV, hepatitis B and C. Three doctors and auxiliary staff can work on the boat deck.
We train local medical staff on how to deal with neonatal hypoxia and on hospital sanitary principles. We equip the Wakema hospital with a power generator, specialized laboratory equipment, and medical tools. There are also carried out dental examinations and fluoridation treatments in local schools’ students and local population. We hope that the teeth of the youngest residents will be effectively protected against tooth decay.
The “Myanmar – Medical Activities, Trainings, and Screenings in the Irrawaddy Delta” project implemented by the Polish Medical Mission received financial support from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the years 2019–2020 in the amount of PLN 1,380,980.
trained in hygiene and healthy lifestyle
against hepatitis B
Myanmar 2019, photo: Piotr Dymus
Who do we help?
The hospital in Wakema is the largest centre in the district, adapted for admitting 50 people and carrying out surgeries. In the rainy season, the facility "bursts at the seams", admitting a double number of patients cared by only two doctors. This situation brought about sending a surgeon and an anaesthesiologist of the Polish Medical Mission to the hospital, who carried out trainings e.g. on surgical techniques.
This was not my first mission. Waiting for the flight to Myanmar, I felt it would be a special trip. I said this to Justyna who was travelling with me. Me, a surgeon, and Justyna, an anaesthesiologist. The Wakema hospital does not resemble the place where I work in Poland. The high humidity made me feel like I was operating in a greenhouse. My attention was drawn to the involvement of the local medical staff. They wanted to learn from me. It’s nice that you leave a trace behind. I remember one day. It was no different from the others, and yet... Suddenly there was a noise in the hospital corridor. A nurse entered the room and said something I could not understand at first. I went out into the corridor and saw a boy with burns. The scars were so bad that he could not close his mouth. Justyna and I knew we were going to be asked to perform a surgery. There was no need to talk – we just exchanged looks; we wanted to help the boy. Myat was very brave and full of hope that we would help him. I wanted to do everything possible. During the operation the light suddenly went out. It would not stop us; we helped each other using phone flashlights. The surgery was successful. Myat got a new life, as it were, from us. He was leaving the hospital with a smile. This is a huge reward to a doctor. I will never forget this boy. Such moments are worth living for!
Who helps in Myanmar?
We are one of the few Polish non-governmental organizations that provide medical assistance. We help where the needs are the greatest. Our assistance is long-term – it brings permanent changes in the communities we support.
Polish Medical Mission
Project co-financed within the framework of the Polish development cooperation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland.
Wakema Township Association
The Wakema Township Association is a Burmese association, whose mission is to support the local community in the municipality of Wakema. It runs health centres, schools, libraries, and nursing homes.
Medical aid. Permanent changes. Local partner.
Build aid with us in the neediest countries of the world.