Daw Aye Moient (mother) brought baby Ma Thig Kyan San, a girl, two years old to Mae Tao Clinic. The Mom is 42 years old, has a five-year-old at home as well as a husband – the family live together and the mother in law. They are farmers – rice is the crop they cultivate and are owners of their home. They are Karen. She has completed five grades and can read and write Burmese and Karen; her husband has not attended school at all. The name of the village is Ilin and it took her 7.5 hours by car to get to the clinic.
The village the family live in comprises around 20-25 houses, and a total of about 100 people. They are all rice farmers. It is a government controlled area, and there is a primary school – through grade five (5), a small clinic about 30 minutes away, which patients get charged to use and service a number of villages. For emergencies, the villagers are referred to the hospital in the nearest town, a two-hour ride away. The institutions are government provided and Burmese is spoken. They do not live in a conflict area.
The most common diseases in their area are dengue, malaria, high fever, diarrhoea. There is very little traditional medicine. When medical attention is needed, the villagers go directly to the clinic. Immunization campaigns are common and health workers are sent to the villages to vaccinate the children. They have access to medication and medical supplies for the general, common diseases, for the more serious cases, they have to go to town.
Mother and daughter travelled 10 hours to come to the clinic. This was their first time visiting MTC. Daw Aye Moient had a work accident while tending to the cattle when she was seven (7) months pregnant and experiences some bleeding. They did emergency surgery and the baby entered the world prematurely. It is unclear how much time elapsed between the accident and the intervention as well as whether the baby was given all the attention she needed as a premature birth; but she has not been developing at the pace she should be. The mother heard about MTC from another villager and decided to bring her baby and have her checked – the baby was weak, unable to hold her head up, even though she was two years old. Since arriving at the clinic, the staff have been doing exercises with the baby three times a day, showing the mother. In addition, she learned that her daughter was malnourished, and the staff are ensuring she gets fed properly.
At the time of the interview, they have been at the clinic for a fortnight and plan to stay until the baby has gained the adequate weight for her age. The mother is being instructed by the staff also on how to feed the baby properly.
She is grateful for the attention and the education/training she is getting from the staff. In future, she would like to see a clinic closer to her village. There are security concerns if there is an emergency at nighttime. Also, the cost is an issue.
This Interview was conducted on April 6, 2017.