Meet Our Patients (36): Ko Myo’s Story – Pancreatic Pseudocysts

43-year-old Ko Myo moved to Thailand 6 years ago after his parents passed away. He has worked as a daily laborer on a farm. He’s been feeling pain in his stomach for almost half a year but didn’t go to the clinic due to his security and the language barrier. Nevertheless, his pain has exacerbated and came to Mae Tao Clinic to seek medical treatment.

 

Ko Myo is 43-year-old. He moved to Thailand from Bago division,[1] Burma/Myanmar 6 years ago after his parents passed away. He is single, currently lives in Mae Ku, Thailand,[2] working as a daily laborer on a farm. He has lived in a small accommodation provided by the owner of the farm for 6 years. It is surrounded by mountain. He earns around THB 120 to 150 (USD 3.8 to 4.8) per day, which is lower than a minimum daily wage in Thailand as he doesn’t have either work permit or residence permit.[3]

A few years ago, his health has terribly deteriorated. He visited Old Mae Tao Clinic and was admitted to Medical Inpatient Department (IPD). Since 5 or 6 months ago, he started feeling a pain but did not care because it was bearable. He did not take any medication or see a doctor. As a matter of fact, he didn’t go to Thai clinics as he was scared of getting arrested by the police. In addition, he does not speak the Thai language, he cannot understand what doctor says.  2 weeks ago, the pain has been severely exacerbated, he asked his boss for help, sending him to Mae Tao Clinic.

Medical IPD staff examined him and admitted him to the Inpatient wars for further tests and treatment. Doctor and Medics examined him and suspected his symptoms as liver flukes and that he has cysts in his pancreatic. For the more precise diagnosis, an X-ray result was required. As MTC does not have an X-ray machine, it referred him to our partner organization, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF)[4] for the X-ray at Mae Sot General Hospital. After the test, he is diagnosed with pancreatic pseudocysts, which is not operational at MTC and should be referred to a government hospital for the further treatment.

MTC has been discussing with a partner organization to support referral cost, including operation cost and waiting for a decision. The patient cannot afford the operation cost and MTC is not able to cover all referral costs anymore due to its limited funding.

Although he feels some pain from time to time, he wants to thank MTC for providing free treatment and food while he’s been hospitalized. He hopes to get support from our partner organization to get treatment, but either way, he will go back his place, will work like he’s been doing as long as possible.


While our numbers of consultations and admissions were slightly down the bed occupancy rate increased as did the length of stay of our patients. Our data shows us that we are seeing more complicated cases coming to our clinic as these patients are not able to be treated in Burma.


[1] Bago is a city and the capital of the Bago Region in Myanmar. It is located 91 kilometers (57 miles) north-east of Yangon (Capital of Burma/Myanmar). [Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bago,_Myanmar]

[2] Mae Ku is one of the sub-districts of Mae Sot. Mae Sot is a city in western Thailand that shares a border with Burma to the west. It is notable as a trade hub and for its substantial population of Burmese migrants and refugees. [Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mae_Sot]

[3] Although THB 310 – 330 (USD 9.9 – 10.5) is the minimum daily wage in Thailand, many migrant workers receive lower income as many of them work without a work permit.

[4] The Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF) was founded in 2006. BCMF works to give patients who need operations a chance to a healthy life by funding their medical treatment and providing a range of support services before, during, and after treatment. [BCMF website: http://burmachildren.com/who-we-are/]