It took them for five-hours to reach Mae Tao Clinic. They were referred to MTC by health workers in their village because the mother had lost three babies prior to her last pregnancy. The couple is very happy with the care they have received at MTC. The staff was nice and attentive. They are very happy with the outcome and are hopeful that this baby will be strong and healthy – thanks to the clinic.
We interviewed the parents of a three-day old baby, delivered at Mae Tao Clinic (MTC). They are from the village of Laung Par in Karen state and speak Karen. The mother, Naw Pi is 25 years old, the father is 38. They are rice farmers and neither have received any education. They own their own house and have no other children.
They live in a village of about 300 houses, mostly rice farmers, of which a large number emigrated to Bangkok. The area they live in is government controlled. Their village has a clinic and a primary school through grade eight (8). The medical staff are government employees and there is a pharmacy connected to the health institution, but only for general ailments. The major diseases in the area are fever, stomach ailments – probably due to dengue and malaria.
They came to MTC by car and it took them about five-hours to reach the clinic. They have been to MTC before, the mother was enrolled in the antenatal clinic and received some vaccinations. They were referred to MTC by health workers in their area. The mother had lost three babies prior to her last pregnancy. It was recommended that they seek help here. The mother arrived a month prior to her delivery date and has been resting. The delivery went well. The baby at the time of the interview, three days old, had a fever and was having difficulty eating (the parents said that the baby’s mouth was too small for breast feeding), so he was on an Intravenous (IV) drip. They are unsure when they would be going home – but just as soon as they got the baby’s temperature down and it gained some strength.
The couple is very happy with the care they have received at MTC. The staff was nice and attentive. They are very happy with the outcome and are hopeful that this baby will be strong and healthy – thanks to the clinic. They are grateful that the clinic is free since they would not have the money to pay for the care.
It has been difficult for them to travel here because they have no papers and they feared harassment and barred access. The father stays in the accommodation area in the back of the clinic and spends his days with his wife and now his newborn son.
Every year, thousands of women and children attend the clinic, with more than 2,500 women safely delivering their babies. Our medics treat an average of 420 patients per day. The Reproductive Health Programme’s goals are to keep mothers strong and give all children a healthy start. The MTC Reproductive Health Department’s inpatient and outpatient sections provide comprehensive women’s services including family planning, gynaecology, normal and complicated labour and delivery, neonatal care, and post-abortion care. Its antenatal care programme offers screening for malaria, HIV, sexually transmitted infections and anaemia.
(This interview was conducted on April 6 2017.)