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.
Ko is a 37-year-old father of five who lives with his wife, three daughters and two sons in a refugee camp in Thailand. His family receives a cash card every month from an organization, but this is not enough to cover their expenses. Therefore, he also works as an agricultural day laborer in a nearby Thai village. In his free time, Ko enjoys playing cane ball and spending time with his friends. On December 11, 2020, Ko slipped and fell onto rocks outside of the camp. When he tried to get up, Ko could tell that his leg was broken. He went to the hospital in the refugee camp run by Malteser International (MI). He was eventually referred to a hospital where he underwent surgery to insert a metal rod into his leg on December 25, 2020. When he went back to the hospital for his follow-up appointment on February 3, 2021, the doctor observed that the surgical wound was infected and he underwent surgery to clean his wound. When the wound still did not heal, the doctor referred him to another hospital, where the doctor told him he would need an additional surgery to remove necrotic tissue and replace the rod in his leg. Currently, Ko is experiencing a lot of pain. It is difficult for him to walk and he is worried about his family in the camp. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Ko will undergo surgery to reset his fractured bones and finally heal. This procedure will allow Ko to walk and his leg to heal properly. The procedure is scheduled for March 12th and will cost $1,500. Ko shared, “I really want to work to support my family as soon as possible. I cannot imagine what life would be like for my family if my leg never heals.”
Than is a 44-year-old man who lives with his wife and three children in Mon State, Burma. He works hard as a day laborer and his wife sells vegetables around their neighborhood to support their family. His oldest child goes to school, while his other two children are still too young. In the future, Than hopes he can open a small shop. In mid-April 2021, Than was cutting wood with an ax to make charcoal for cooking. While cutting wood, his ax accidentally hit his left foot. He went to the nearest clinic, where the nurse stitched up his wound. After this, his wound was not painful. However, two weeks later, his left foot started to have pain and when he checked his foot, he saw pus around the area he had received stitches. Currently, the area around the injury on Than's left foot has turned black. He experiences severe pain, especially at night when the pain prevents him from sleeping. At the hospital, the doctors found that he had low blood supply, an ulcer, and cellulitis in the injured foot. In order to heal, Than must undergo wound debridement, a procedure which will clean the wound and remove the most damaged tissue to create opportunities for new skin to grow. His procedure is scheduled for May 11th, 2021 and his family needs $694 to fund his treatment. Than said, "I want the doctor to perform surgery on my foot as quickly as possible because I cannot handle the pain anymore."
Tin is a 56-year-old woman who lives with her husband, daughter, son in-law and granddaughter in Burma. Her husband and son in-law are day laborers, but because of the coup d'état and COVID-19, they are having difficulty finding work. Four years ago, Tin was diagnosed with diabetes and due to financial difficulties, she was not always able to buy medication. In April, Tin noticed that both of her hands were swollen and slightly achy while doing household chores. She applied traditional medicine, but her right hand did not heal. Over time, the pain and swelling increased, her right hand became red, and she developed a high fever. She visited a local clinic where the nurse told her she would need surgery and suggested she seek treatment at a local hospital. Fortunately, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) is helping Tin receive treatment. At our BCMF's care center, the doctor found an ulcer on Tin's right hand and diagnosed her with cellulitis. Surgery was recommended as soon as possible, as this type of ulcer can spread quickly. On May 11th, Tin will undergo a wound debridement procedure at BCMF's care center and now, she needs help to fund this $694 procedure. Tin shared, "during these difficult times, my family does not have enough money and we cannot afford to pay for my treatment. I would like to receive surgery as soon as possible so that I can go back to doing the household chores."
D is a 38-year-old man who lives by himself and used to wash cars in a mechanic's shop until his accident. Unfortunately, he had to quit his job because of his condition and he has had no income since. On April 2nd, his friends asked him to pick mangos. After climbing up the tree, the branch he was holding onto suddenly broke and he fell onto a rock. He broke his right lower leg in the fall. Unable to stand up by himself, his two friends supported him and arranged for his transportation to a local hospital. At the hospital, he received an x-ray and the doctor wrapped his lower leg in a bandage. He scheduled a follow-up appointment for the following week and went home. However, D did not go back to the hospital because he had no money. Two weeks later, he visited a local clinic because he was still in pain. He was referred to our medical partner's care center where an x-ray showed that he had broken both of the bones in his right lower leg and he was told that he would need surgery. Currently, he cannot walk and experiences pain in his lower right leg when he moves. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, D will undergo surgery to reset his fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for May 23rd and will cost $1,500. This surgery will help D walk again and he will be able to find work after he has made a full recovery. D shared, "I lost my job after my leg was injured. I no longer have an income or a place to live. I do not have anyone I can depend on and I feel like I have no more hope living with this condition."
Eh is a 16-year-old boy who lives with his parents and cousin in the refugee camp in Mae Hong Son Province in Thailand. His family receives 1,180 baht (approx. 39 USD) every month on a food card from the organization The Border Consortium. This amount is not enough to cover their daily needs despite receiving free basic health care and education in the camp. To help make ends meet, Eh’s father works as a security guard in the camp too, earning 800 baht (approx. 27 USD) in a month. In addition to this, Eh’s mother and cousin work as day labourers whenever they find work. Eh also works with them during his summer vacations. In May, Eh climbed up a ladder to lay down and rest in a bamboo hut on stilts. While trying to sit down, one of the bamboo sticks rolled out from under him and Eh fell through the floor of the hut. Putting out his left arm subconsciously to break his fall, Eh ended up landing on that arm. Currently, Eh's arm is in a sling and he is taking pain medication to control the pain. If he moves his left arm or tries to lift his arm, he feels a lot of pain. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Eh will undergo surgery to reset his fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for May 28th and will cost $1,500. This procedure will help Eh be able to use his arm again and he will no longer be in pain after surgery. Eh shared, “I want to become a literature teacher as it is my favorite subject. After surgery, I hope that I can go back to school with my arm healed."
Wit is a four-year-old boy who lives with his parents in a refugee camp on the Thai-Burma border. Wit goes to junior kindergarten, while his parents own a small shop in the camp. In his free time, he enjoys drawing and coloring. He's also already really interested in fixing and building things. Since he was a year old, Wit has had an inguinal hernia. The hernia causes him pain in his scrotum and in his stomach. Due to the pain, he cannot run and play with his friends and he sometimes he misses school. To control the pain, he takes pain medication three times a day. Fortunately, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), is helping Wit to receive treatment. On June 1st, he will undergo hernia repair surgery at our medical partner's care center. Once completed, the procedure will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably. Now, BCMF is requesting $1,500 to fund Wit's surgery. Wit's mother shared, "he tells me he wants to become a doctor [in the future], but he also says that he wants to become a mechanic or a builder. He will ask me to buy him tools and things to fix. He will try to fix his [father’s] motorcycle and bicycle.”
Htoo is a 12-year-old girl who lives with her parents, two older sisters, an older brother and a younger brother in a refugee camp on the Thai-Burma border. Htoo’s father works as a construction worker while Htoo's mother is a homemaker and looks after Htoo's younger brother who is too young to go to school. Htoo and her older siblings study in the camp. Every month, the family receives oil, rice and charcoal rations, but they shared that the rations are unfortunately not enough to cover their daily needs. They also receive free basic health care and education in the refugee camp. In her free time, Htoo likes to play with her friends and help her mother clean. Htoo was born with a small mass in a sensitive area. At the time, Htoo's mother was told not to worry about the mass. However, beginning in 2016, Htoo noticed the mass increasing in size and she could no longer pass urine comfortably. A medic at the camp's hospital examined the mass and determined that it is benign and recommends it is surgically treated for Htoo's comfort and peace of mind. Htoo is receiving treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) and she is scheduled to undergo mass removal surgery on June 6th. Now, their family is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Htoo shared, “in the future, I want to finish my schooling and become a teacher in the camp. I want to teach Karen [language].”
Kyin is a 48-year-old woman who lives with her daughter, her friend, and her friend's family in a village in northern Thailand. Kyin’s daughter and her friend’s two children study at a migrant school. Kyin used to work as an agricultural day laborer, but stopped two months ago when her vision deteriorated. In her free time, Kyin likes to garden and clean her house. Kyin has lost most of the vision in both of her eyes. Sometimes her eyes are watery and itchy, and if she tries to focus on identifying someone’s face, her eyes will hurt and she will develop a headache. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund lens replacement surgery for Kyin. On June 7th, doctors will perform a lens replacement in both eyes, during which they will remove Kyin's natural lenses and replace them with intraocular lens implants. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $1,500 procedure. Kyin shared, “I hope that I will get better soon so that I can go back to work. I want to support my daughter so that she becomes an educated person. I also want to build a new house and live with my daughter happily for the rest of my life.”
Yin is a 62-year-old woman who lives with her husband, daughter, son in-law, and granddaughter in a refugee camp on the Thai-Burma border. She is a homemaker, and she loves cooking and cleaning around her house. In her free time, Yin loves to play with her granddaughter. Her husband is retried, and her son in-law is unemployed. Yin’s family receives 800 baht (approx. 27 USD) on a cash card every month to purchase rations. This income is just enough for their daily needs, but they cannot afford to pay other costs like healthcare. Currently, Yin has limited vision and can only make out if it is dark or light outside with her right eye. The vision in Yin’s left eye is starting to blur, and she cannot see far with her left eye. She is worried that she will lose vision in both of her eyes. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund lens replacement surgery for Yin. On June 8th, doctors will perform a lens replacement, during which they will remove Yin's natural lenses and replace them with an intraocular lens implant in each eye. After recovery, she will be able to see clearly. Now, she needs help to fund this $1,500 procedure. Yin shared, "Before my vision started to blur, I used to make and sell mohinga [a type of Burmese noodles]. With the money that I earned from selling mohinga, I was able to buy vegetables for my family. However, when the vision in my right eye vision became blurred, I could no longer make mohinga anymore. I hope that my vision will be restored after I complete my treatment.”
Ku is a seven-year-old boy who lives with his parents and two younger sisters in a refugee camp in Northern Thailand. Ku's mother weaves shirts that she sells, and Ku's father helps weave, too. Ku is a primary school student, while one of his sisters is in nursing school, and his youngest sister is too young to go to school. On June 6th, Ku and two of his friends were playing in a tamarind tree when they all fell out of the tree. Ku injured his left arm in the fall and his father carried him to the camp hospital for an exam. The medic there told Ku's father that his elbow might be broken. After they bandaged his arm, Ku visited another hospital for an x-ray and was diagnosed with a left elbow fracture. Ku is in pain and cannot bend his arm or lift anything. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), Ku will undergo surgery to reset his fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for June 9th and will cost $1,500. After surgery, Ku will no longer be in pain and he will be able to go back to school. He will regain full mobility in his arm. Ku's father shared, "Ku is an active boy who loves school and reading a lot. He always says that he wants to become a health worker to look after his family and others when he grows up. I want him to recover and go back to school soon."
Lah is a 50-year-old woman from Thailand who lives with her husband and her daughter in a refugee camp on the Thai-Burma border. Lah is a homemaker, and her daughter is a middle school student. Her husband cannot work since he was in an accident six years ago. Her neighbor pays for her daughter’s school fees and in return, Lah shares vegetables that she grows with her neighbors. Her family receives about $35 per month on a cash card, but this income is not enough to cover their daily needs. In her free time, Lah loves praying at home and she enjoys going to church every Sunday. Starting from 2018, Lah has been experiencing dizziness, back pain, fatigue, loss of appetite, and lower abdomen pain every day. If she sits for a longer period of time, she has difficulty standing up due to the back pain. Lah cannot walk longer distances because of the pain in her lower abdomen and back. Lah has been diagnosed with myoma uteri, and is advised to undergo a total abdominal hysterectomy. If left untreated, Lah's symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications in the future. Fortunately, Lah is scheduled to undergo her hysterectomy on June 16th. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Once she is fully recovered, Lah will no longer experience pain in her back and abdomen and will be able to sit and walk without difficulty. Lah said, “I am so happy that my condition is treatable. I will be able to live with my family for a longer time. Now that I know donors may help pay for my treatment, I would like to thank them in advance for helping me. I want to live long, and look after my daughter and my husband. I prayed and God has answered my prayers, so I am very thankful to God and your organization who helped find donors for me.”
Ku is an 11-year-old student from Thailand. Ku lives with his mother, four brothers and a sister in a refugee camp. All of his siblings also go to school, except for his oldest brother, who used to work with their mother as agricultural day labourers. However, since the outbreak of Covid-19 in 2020, they have not been able to leave the camp easily to find work. Ku's father works as a day labourer outside of the camp, but has also been unable to find consistent work due to the pandemic. Ku's family receives some financial support from an external organisation, but it is not enough to cover their expenses, and they shared that they often borrow rice or money from their neighbors. In March 2021, Ku and his friends were playing tag that led him to have a bad fall. Ku had taken off his sandals and left them at the top of a hill. When he ran up the rocky hill to fetch his sandals, he slipped and stuck out his left hand to break his fall, breaking his wrist. Currently, Ku’s left hand and forearm are very painful. He cannot bend his wrist and can only move his fingers slightly. Before his accident, Ku was able to prepare his own meals and set up his mosquito net at night. But now, he needs someone to help him do these tasks. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Ku will undergo surgery to reset his fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for March 10th and will cost $1,500. This procedure will help Ku use his left hand again and live pain-free. He will be able to cook his own meals again and set up his mosquito net by himself. Now, he and his family need help raising money for this procedure. Ku's mother shared, "After he receives treatment, I want Ku to continue his studies until he graduates and becomes a medic."