Naw Dah lives with her four daughters and three sons in a refugee camp in northern Thailand. Five of her children attend school in the camp while Naw Dah looks after her two youngest children at home. Her husband, who lives most of the year at his worksite, is a gardener and farmer in a nearby Thai village. He earns 1,000 baht (approx. $33.50 USD) in a month. Every month, Naw Dah’s family receives 1,538 baht (approx. $51.30 USD) as part of their camp food support from an organisation called The Border Consortium. Despite receiving basic health care services and not having to pay for her children’s education, Naw Dah is struggling to make ends meet to feed her large family.
In 2016, Naw Dah started experiencing pain and difficulty passing urine. She frequently sought treatment at the camp’s hospital, run by Malteser International Thailand (MI). From time to time, Naw Dah would be admitted to receive treatment for a reoccurring urinary tract infection (UTI). On March 27th, 2020, Naw Dah gave birth to her youngest daughter. While still admitted, on April 1st, she came down with another UTI. She was in extreme pain and had a high fever. That same day, the camp doctor referred her to Mae Sariang Hospital for additional review and treatment. Naw Dah arrived at that hospital later that day and received x-rays and an ultrasound of her abdomen. When her results came in, they indicated that she has an oval shaped opaque stone in the area where her right ureter connects to her urinary bladder. The doctor then referred her to the bigger local hospital for further treatment. Knowing she could not afford to pay for treatment, she was referred to Watsi’s Medical Partner BCMF for financial assistance accessing treatment.
After she was seen by the doctor at Chiang Mai Hospital, she was given antibiotics to treat her infection. On August 8th, 2020, she was admitted at CMH. Two days later she underwent a procedure called percutaneous nephrostomy to drain the urine in her kidney through the insertion of a catheter into her right kidney. Before she was discharged on August 11th, 2020, she received another appointment to be readmitted on September 14th, 2020. During that admission, the doctor scheduled her to undergo a surgical procedure to remove the stone from her ureter and she needs support raising funds for this critical treatment.
In the future, Naw Dah would like to go back to work. “I want to work in the [camp’s] hospital because I used to be a nurse there in the past,” said Naw Dah.