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Parents at home about their work rather not telling

Dr. Aye Myat Myat Zaw (26 years), which nobody tells you otherwise than Bo Bo, in front of her seemingly bright and successful future. From a well-Burmese family whose roots on his mother's side back to China. Three years ago, has successfully completed his medical studies and has had a year and a half of experience in prestigious private hospital in Rangoon.

In 2009, a year after Cyclone Nargis, however, her life began to take a different direction. For the first time participated in humanitarian aid organization ADRA. Discovered a new dimension of the medical profession, and in 2012 she left the hospital Rangúnské, to become the first doctor in the mobile medical team ADRA, which for the first time after decades of armed conflict began providing assistance to residents of remote rural communities in Karen State and Monském.

What is the difference between working in a mobile clinic in a private hospital?

The difference is a lot! In the hospital, many doctors and nurses. Patients have great possibilities to obtain quality health care, all medications are available to them. But in the villages, where we get the mobile clinics are very limited options. They are difficult to reach areas and people there really need help.

How does such a team of mobile clinics ADRA?

The team consists of a doctor, nurse and community health worker, who works as a volunteer. The team visits the village regularly, at least once a month, treat and serve drugs. From the beginning, our people in the villages a little afraid. They told us that we are the first doctor who ever stepped into the village. Some had also suspect that we are somehow connected with the government. But along with local pastors and elders we gradually managed to explain that we come with humanitarian aid, and we have their trust.

What was your feeling when you first entered into these villages?

From the beginning I was quite scared because I had never seen before in conflict areas was not. The villagers in the Delta, where I worked after Cyclone Nargis, and villagers in Karen State are from each other a lot different. The Delta is not affected by armed conflict and also know how to Burmese, so it is easier to trust you. Village there are very easily available in the ships, it means you do not get very far on foot. In Karen State, it is a lot worse.

What was the hardest?

I personally do not know how Karen, so the beginning I had to overcome major barriers of communication, the rest of the team I had ever translate. Then also it was the rainy season and most of our villages are not accessible by car or in the dry season - so we could drive only a small part of the way, then move on to the ship, then the bike and then another as two to three hours on foot. Sometimes we had even through the mountains, we traveled to villages even six hours. The first time we went to the Belin, we did not know exactly how to get to the villages if you can ship, or will we have to walk - we finally went two peaks, and the whole journey took almost seven hours. For me personally, this was the first time I've come this far.

Have you ever met in villages with armed groups that dominate the area?

Yes, quite often. These villages are located on a territory controlled by the Karen National Union (KNU). But I was surprised myself how good it was to communicate with them. They were mostly open and friendly. Are different than what is known from television and movies. There really inspires fear, but in fact we should be invited to dine with them, talked with us. So I was translating our field assistants, because my Karenština is still quite weak. But I'm learning! Already I can ask the patient to his name, difficulty and so on.

Despite this, you have one month to the banned, is it true?

It was just at a time when we also conducted training of community health workers and training to prevent injury from landmines. Our project manager and logistician just planned to distribute food parcels when he got the information that the KNU has banned access to the entire territory. But it was mainly because of the deteriorated situation of armed conflict with another group. We called ourselves that we do not go to the villages. But my colleagues drove across the border to Mae Sot and managed to renegotiate with the KNU access to villages.

Still, it does not sound like a totally safe work. They know your parents, what do you do?

They know it, but the truth is that home not treat too much detail. Of course it would be better to go back to Rangoon and worked at a private clinic. The first time I decided to go back to the ADRA project in Karen State, I had a lot of them to negotiate.

What did the person work for you?
I love working in the villages, rather than somewhere in the hospital. The private clinic is so many doctors that if I will not be there, there will be ten other doctors. Patients my presence there that much affected. But to find a health care professional who is willing to go to the villages, it is much harder. People are there for it but really grateful!

Mobile medical team was part of a humanitarian project supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Within four months of 2272 patients treated in eight villages, located in the south-eastern Burma conflict. The project was also in these villages all 560 households distributed seeds and agricultural tools, and they were given a specified training. 1,047 children received a special high-nutrition diet. From each of the two villages were trained community health workers as well as training sessions on hygiene and prevention of injuries from landmines.

Source: tz ADRA

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