Naing is a 46-year-old-man who lives with his mother, wife, sister, son and two daughters in Karen State in the border area of Burma. Naing used to work in a teashop as a baker but stopped four years ago when his health deteriorated. His son is also unemployed, unable to find work ever since the COVID-19 pandemic broke out in Burma more than a year ago. They all rely on Naing’s wife, who works as a vendor in the market, to get by. She earns about 150,000 kyat (approx. 150 USD) a month, which they shared is not enough to cover their household expenses.
In 2014, Naing received surgery for a right inguinal hernia with the help of his employer. Then, four years ago in 2017, he noticed that he had a small lump on his left side. Over time, the small lump increased in size and shifted downwards, causing pain and discomfort that made it impossible for Naing to continue working at the teashop. Although Naing knew that he most likely is having another hernia, since he was experiencing the same symptoms as before, he did not have enough money to pay for surgery. Therefore, he tried to cope with the pain and discomfort without treatment.
In June, Naing’s friend advised for him to go to Ananda Myitta Clinic, a charity clinic in his city to ask for help accessing treatment. Naing and his friend went to the clinic, where they talked to the founder. The founder then referred Naing to another organization called Health for All who help put him in touch with our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), for assistance accessing surgery for his hernia.
Naing said, “I would like to receive treatment for my hernia. If I’m cured, I can work again as a baker and our [household] income will increase. Now, only my wife works and we all depend on her.”