Medical assistance is inaccessible to many people living in Burma because of the high cost of treatment and lack of free healthcare. There are also an estimated 2 million Burmese people living in Thailand unable to access the Thai healthcare system.
BCMF is one of the few organizations that has a strong enough relationship with the relevant Thai authorities to facilitate the transportation to and treatment of Burmese people at Thai hospitals.
Than is a 57-year-old woman from Burma. She lives with her husband and her sister. Than was diagnosed with a heart condition that involves a malformation of the mitral valve, the valve between the left atrium and left ventricle. This valve controls the flow of blood, but certain conditions may cause blood to flow backward or the valve to narrow. Currently, Than has difficulty breathing and her heartbeat is fast. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund a mitral valve replacement for Than. The treatment is scheduled to take place on August 12 and, once completed, will hopefully allow her to live more comfortably.
Maw is a 50-year-old homemaker from Burma. She lives with her husband, daughter, son-in-law, granddaughter and son in a village. In her free time, she like to clean the house and do some gardening. Since June, Maw's left eye is itchy, painful, and swollen. One day, she woke up and her left eyelid was droopy. Gradually, the vision became blurry in that eye. She also suffers from severe headaches in the left side of her head. The headaches are so bad that none of the medications seem to help, and she sleeps most of the day. Doctors want Maw to undergo a CT scan, a procedure in which x-ray images taken from several angles are combined to produce cross-sectional images of the body. This scan will hopefully help doctors diagnose her condition and formulate an appropriate treatment plan. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $414 to cover the cost of Maw's CT scan and care, scheduled for August 19.
Naw is a 32-year-old agricultural day laborer from Thailand. She lives with her husband while her daughter and son live with her sister-in-law in Burma. In her free time, Naw likes to stay at home and do housework. For the past eight months, Naw has been experiencing a mass that is slowly increasing in size in her lower abdomen. She has been diagnosed with a dermoid cyst in her right ovary. She has been advised to undergo an oophorectomy, a procedure in which surgeons will remove her ovaries. Fortunately, Naw is scheduled to undergo her oophorectomy on August 15. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $913 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. “After I recover fully, I will continue to work as an agricultural day laborer and save some money to visit my children one day,” she says.
Shin is a 15-year-old novice monk from Burma. He lives and studies with his brother in Aung Damar Zinyone Learning Centre Monastery in Insein Township, Yangon Division. His father is a government officer for the ministry of religious affairs and culture and his mother is a shopkeeper and sells rice and curry. Although his parents send them pocket money, they cannot always do so. Instead, Shin and his brother are supported by the monks, and he collects donations of food from the community with the other monks, during morning alms collections. In his free time Shin like to play football with his friends. Sometimes, he likes to read books and study to learn new things. Shin was diagnosed with a heart condition that involves a malformation of the mitral valve, the valve between the left atrium and left ventricle. This valve controls the flow of blood, but certain conditions may cause blood to flow backward or the valve to narrow. Currently, Shin has difficulty breathing, is unable to sleep at night and sometimes he has a fever during the night. He cannot walk long distances and he has difficulty walking up stairs. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund a mitral valve replacement for Shin. The treatment is scheduled to take place on August 21 and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably. “When I grow up, I want to become a monk to help those in need as well as children whose parents cannot afford to send them to school,” said Shin. “This has been my dream since I was a child.”
Chit is a 30-year-old man who lives with his wife, daughter, son and father-in-law in Noh Poe Village, Myawaddy Township, Karen State, Burma. Chit’s daughter and son go to school. Chit, together with his wife and father-in-law work as farmers on land they rent. Chit’s family does not have regular income, but they sell durian and betel nut that they grow in their garden. Seven years ago, Chit started to experience pain in his lower left abdomen. He also had difficulty passing urine so he went to Myawaddy Hospital for help. He received an ultrasound and an x-ray before the doctor informed him that he has a urinary tract infection (UTI) and a kidney stone. He was treated for the UTI but he did not received treatment for the kidney stone. He was given a follow-up appointment for every month, to receive medication for the abdominal pain. He continued to return for his appointments until late-2018, but when he did not feel better he followed his neighbour’s suggestion and sought help at Mae Tao Clinic (MTC) in Thailand on 20 February 2019. When Chit arrived at MTC, he received an ultrasound as well as a urine and blood test. After the tests, the medic informed him that he has a kidney stone and he was prescribed some medication. On 29 February, MTC referred him to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) for further investigation. At MSH, he underwent an intravenous pyelogram (IVP) and was asked to return to MSH for his follow-up appointments and he returned several times. Eventually, he was told that the kidney stone had moved into his urethra and that he would need to undergo laser treatment to break up the stone. Currently, Chit still experiences pain in his lower left abdomen and sometimes he has difficulty passing urine. He worries that his condition will get worse if he does not get treatment. Sometimes his urine has blood in it, especially when he drinks less water and he has difficulty passing urine. Sometimes, he feels like the pain of his abdominal is worse and he is not able to walk or work. He is unable to sleep, and he feels more comfortable when he lies down and rests. In his free time, Chit loves to forage for vegetables in the forest.
Bo is a 42-year-old man from Burma. He lives with his two daughters and his wife in Sagaing Division. Bo and his wife are teachers and his two daughters are students. In his free time, he likes to study and read literature related to the subject he teaches at the private school. But this has also been affected by his poor health, as he can no longer study as much as he did in the past. Bo was diagnosed with a heart condition that involves a malformation of the mitral valve, the valve between the left atrium and left ventricle. This valve controls the flow of blood, but certain conditions may cause blood to flow backward or the valve to narrow. Currently, Bo is anxious and worried about his cardiac condition. He stopped running tuition classes from his home, and he has had to reduce the number of hours he teaches at the school. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund a mitral valve replacement for Bo. The treatment is scheduled to take place on August 26th and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably. “After I recover from surgery, I will continue to teach, and I will increase the number of tuition classes I run. I will attend some training to increase my teaching skills. I would also like to play cane ball with my friends again,” said Bo.
Bish is 39-year-old man from Burma. He lives in a monastery and helps out the head monk with charity work and a clinic. In July 2018, Bishu started to suffer from abdominal pain. It all happened after he carried rice packs, clothes bags and dry food packages while he helped flood victims around Hpa-An. Since then, he has been on medication for his abdominal pain. A year later, in July 2019, he was in severe abdominal pain and was admitted at a hospital. He was given medication, which made him feel better, and he was diagnosed with stones in his pancreas. The doctor did not explain to him of what he should do next so when he was discharged, he visited another hospital and the doctor there wanted to do more investigative tests. Doctors want Bish to undergo a CT scan, a procedure in which x-ray images taken from several angles are combined to produce cross-sectional images of the body. This scan will hopefully help doctors diagnose his condition and formulate an appropriate treatment plan. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $414 to cover the cost of Bish's CT scan and care, scheduled for August 28. Bish said, “After I recover from this health problem, I will continue to help the monk with his charity work. I will also help the charitable clinic as much as I can."
Sue is a 10-month-old boy from Burma. He lives with his mother, his great-uncle, his grate-aunt and his uncle in Hlaingbwe Township, Karen State. father works at an ice factory in Bangkok, while his mother looks after him in their village. Sue has cataract in both of his eyes. He cannot see clearly with both of his eyes. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund lens replacement surgery for Sue. On August 28, doctors will perform a lens replacement, during which they will remove Sue's natural lenses and replace them with an intraocular lens implant in each eye. After recovery, he will be able to see clearly. Now, he needs help to fund this $1,500 procedure. Sue’s mother said, “I feel very stressed and upset that I don’t have money to treat my son. I also feel bad that my husband doesn’t care about us, even though I told him that my son has to receive surgery. He still doesn’t believe me and doesn’t provide us with any money since we found out his diagnosis.”
Kyin is a 69-year-old retired teacher who lives with her 31-year-old son and 39-year-old daughter-in-law in Yangon, Burma. As a retired teacher since 2010, Kyin receives 140,000 kyat (approx. 140 USD) per month as part of her pension. She now volunteers as a teacher at a monastic school. Both her son and daughter-in-law work for a company. Kyin has another son who was paralysed in a workplace accident. He used to live with Kyin, but when her health deteriorated and she could no longer care for him, he was moved to a social care centre in Yangon. One day, in March 2016, Kyin was teaching at the monastic school, when suddenly she fainted. A medical emergency team then attended to her. When she felt better, a doctor told her that she might have a heart condition and advised her to see a heart specialist. One month after the incident, she went to a cardiologist at North Okkalapa General Hospital. There, she received an X-ray and an echocardiogram (echo). After checking her results, the doctor told her that she has a heart problem and that she can die if she does not receive appropriate treatment. The doctor prescribed her medication for her heart and told her that she will need to receive surgery if her health deteriorates. Six months ago, when Kyin received another echo and the doctor told her that she needs to receive surgery right away. However, her family could not afford to pay for her surgery. Therefore, the doctor said that he would help find them an organization that could help with paying for her surgery and medication. Currently, Kyin is unable to sleep well at night on her back and she needs to sleep propped up. She often feels tired and has shortness of breath.
Linn is a 24-year-old seventh grader from Burma. She lives with her parents, grandmother, an uncle and three younger sisters in Myawaddy Township, Karen State. Among her family, only her father and her mother work. Her uncle stays home and looks after her grandmother and her youngest sister, while her two other sisters go to school. To support their family, Linn’s parents work as day labourers. About six months ago, while she was studying at school, Linn started to experience dizziness and severe headaches. When she looked at the blackboard and her notebook, she had blurry double vision. However, she did not say anything to the teacher as she is new at the school and she was afraid of the teacher. When her friends found out what was happening to her, they wanted to tell the teacher, but Linn forbid them from doing so. After a month of struggling with this problem, Linn finally told her mother. She had kept it from her as she knew about their financial difficulties and she did not want to become a burden. Linn's parents took her to an eyeglass shop in Myawaddy. There, they examine her eyesight, told Linn that she does not need eyeglasses and urged her to go to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) in Thailand. Doctors want Linn to undergo a CT scan, a procedure in which x-ray images taken from several angles are combined to produce cross-sectional images of the body. This scan will hopefully help doctors diagnose her condition and formulate an appropriate treatment plan. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $414 to cover the cost of Linn's CT scan and care, scheduled for September 2nd. As for Linn, she enjoys studying a lot. She said, “English and mathematics are my favorite subjects. I’m also interested in karate as self-defense course and I want to learn it. But, when I have time, I have to help out with household chores. I also have to set aside time to studying.”
Thu is a 27-year-old man who lives in Dala Town, Yangon Division, Burma. He lives with his 25-year-old wife, who take care of their five-year-old daughter who goes to kindergarten. Thu works as a security guard in a tower in Yangon. His total income is just enough to cover all their general expenses, such as food and clothing, as well as pay for his daughter’s school fees. Five years ago, Thu started to experience chest pains while he ate lunch. He continued to suffer from chest pains but he worked through the pain until June 1, 2019, when he suddenly developed severe back pain. He was brought to Yangon General Hospital (YGH) and was admitted for 13 days. While he was admitted, he received a blood test, chest X-ray and an injection to help alleviate the pain. When doctor listened to his chest with a stethoscope, Thu was advised to receive an echocardiogram (echo). After he received the echo on June 16th, the result showed that he has aortic regurgitation, a heart condition caused by problems with the aortic valve. Currently, Thu is suffering from chest pains. He has had to temporarily stop working. Thu is looking forward to receiving surgery soon and getting back to work so that he can continue to support his family.
William is a six-month-old baby boy from Burma. He lives with his mother, who looks after him, and his maternal grandparents who are retired. His father works at a non-government organisation in Rakhine State and sends them money every month. Since March 2019, William has had an inguinal hernia. William has not started talking yet and is not able to complain. He might be in pain but his mother is not sure. Fortunately, on September 8th, he will undergo hernia repair surgery at Mae Sot General Hospital, our medical partner's care center. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund William's hernia repair surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on September 08 and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably. William's mother said, “When I first noticed his hernia, I was shocked and very sad. I talked with several older people who suffered from hernia and they all said it’s uncomfortable and painful sometimes. I want him to have surgery soon so that he can grow up well like other children. I want him to be a good person someday, a person who is considerate and is willing to help others that are in need.”