Mark Daniel is a three-year-old boy from the Philippines who currently lives with acute malnutrition. "Mark and his parents live in a small house made of bamboo and GI Sheets with no access to water or electricity," explains our medical partner, International Care Ministries (ICM). "Mark's father Joerey is a furniture maker assistant. Mark loves to interact with other people despite his condition." About 20 percent of children in communities served by ICM are acutely malnourished. Malnutrition leads to delayed brain development and depresses the immune system, making it far easier for children to contract serious diseases. This risk increases in remote communities and urban slums, where children often don't have access to clean drinking water. For $268, ICM will enroll Mark in a home-based feeding program, where he'll receive nutrient-enriched food packs to help him resume normal development. Staff and community volunteers will make weekly visits to his home to monitor progress, and ICM staff will help educate his parents about nutrition, sanitation and vegetable gardening. "I hope Mark will recover from malnutrition," his father says.
Myint Naing is a 37-year-old man who lives with his wife and three daughters —ages 15, 12, and seven—in the Burmese village in which he was born. He is a subsistence farmer and has a small plot of land where he grows rice for his family. He is also head villager in his village. All of his daughters attend school. On July 27, 2016, one of Myint Naing's friends from the village came to his home and invited Myint Naing to join him. The man had been drinking, and when Myint Naing tried to calm him, the man took out his sword and speared it through Myint Naing’s left arm, breaking the bone. Myint Naing did not visit any clinic or hospital because he lives too far away from any medical services. Another friend, who is a healthcare worker, helped him wrap the wound and manage his pain with painkillers. The next day, the man who injured Myint Naing visited and apologized to him. Myint Naing wanted to visit a hospital for treatment of his arm, but he knew that it would cost a lot of money. His cousin, who works with Burma Medical Association in Mae Sot, advised him to seek help at Mae Tao Clinic (MTC). Myint Naing traveled 10 hours to MTC with his uncle and arrived on August 28, 2016. There, he was referred to Burma Children Medical Fund for further treatment. Currently, Myint Naing experiences pain if moves his left arm. He cannot grab things, wash his clothes, cook, or do anything with the involved arm. Myint Naing said that it is hard for his family while he is in this condition. He cannot work, and he worries that if his arm cannot be treated, he will not be able to support his family. "I cannot afford to pay for my treatment, and if I try to borrow money for my treatment, I will be in... debt, and I do not know how long it will take me to repay," shares Myint Naing. "Life is costly, and it is hard when you face a health problem. I have to find pocket money for my three daughters who study and find school feels for them. If my arm cannot be fixed, I do not know what happens to my family in the future." $1500 pays for Myint Naing to undergo an operation to set his broken arm. Funding also covers the costs of seven nights in the hospital, food, lab tests, X-rays, medicine, physical therapy, and follow-up appointments. Myint Naing's villagers gave him money for food and transportation to travel to Mae Sot General Hospital. Myint Naing looks forward to a successful operation. After he recovers, he will resume serving his people as head villager and also try to find work to generate income for his family.
Atuhaire is a 30-years-old single man from Uganda. He has a sense of humor, and enjoys socializing with friends. Two years ago, Atuhaire developed a swelling and pain in his inguinal area. When he is in pain, he cannot lift any heavy items, he is unable to do any work, and walking is difficult. Atuhaire reported his condition to a health center and was referred to a hospital, where he was diagnosed with a hernia. He was advised to have surgery, but he could not afford to pay for the treatment. Until now, Atuhaire has been unable to receive quality treatment to repair his hernia. For $249. Atuhaire will undergo hernia repair surgery. After surgery, he hopes to work hard producing food for sale and plan for his future. “I am in much need of help," shared Atuhaire.
Ma Kyi is a shy, 14-year-old girl from Hpa-an, Burma. She lives with her parents, aunt, and three of her four siblings. Ma Kyi was born with a mass between her eyes. Her parents did not seek treatment because the mass did not cause Ma Kyi any health problems; she had no pain and no issues with her vision or breathing. The parents hoped that the mass might disappear by itself and a person in their village told them that surgery could make Ma Kyi lose her vision. The parents had also never been to a city before and believed they did not have enough money for surgery. Despite the lack of physical symptoms, Ma Kyi’s condition has significantly impacted her life; she felt so self-conscious about her appearance that she stopped attending school four years ago in grade four. Since she has been out of school, she has tried to help her parents around the house as much as possible. She needs a CT scan to confirm what her condition is - though it is suspected to be an encephalocele, or a neural tube defect. Should this be the case, she will be able to receive subsequent surgery to ensure the mass does not grow larger or impact her vision and development in the future. "I hope that Ma Kyi will receive treatment and go back to school," shares her mother.
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