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AmeriCares Relief Worker Accompanies Medical Team

  • July 16, 2008

AmeriCares relief worker Tharanga Godallage is in Myanmar this month, coordinating the arrival and distribution of medicines and medical supplies from AmeriCares in the aftermath of Cyclone Nargis, which killed more than 138,000 people and left 2.4 million more homeless. Recently, Tharanga accompanied a mobile clinic supplied with AmeriCares-provided medicines.

Myanmar voices from the fieldStaff PhotoA doctor examines a young patient in Minglardon Township.

As the shipments of medicines and medical supplies arrived in Yangon from AmeriCares over the past week, I found myself thinking about all of the people who really need this aid. It is still not easy for foreign nationals like me to visit some of the most affected areas and so I have been relying on the information shared with me by one of AmeriCares local partners, the Myanmar Compassion Project, to understand the devastating impact of Cyclone Nargis.

Then a few days ago, I was able to go into the field with a mobile medical team from the Myanmar Compassion Project.  We visited Minglardon Township, about a one hour drive from Yangon, in an area that was badly affected by Nargis. People there have lost their homes, shelters and livelihoods but they are slowly trying to recover from the disaster. The medical team set up the clinic in a local orphanage.

This was the first time that this community had received medical services from any type of relief organization. There is a government clinic but people must walk about three miles to get there and, according to some of the patients I spoke with, it doesn’t dispense any type of medications. With the Myanmar Compassion Project’s mobile clinic, two doctors and three nurses saw nearly 30 patients, many of them suffering from skin diseases and intestinal worms, using the medications provided by AmeriCares.

The community was very grateful for the services offered by our partner and for the availability of the medicines provided by AmeriCares. These types of mobile medical teams are bringing much-needed treatments to people in desperate situations, and we will continue to support their efforts in the coming months.

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