Meet Our Patients (28): Phyu Phint Thu’s Story – Abscess-Hemangioma


Phyu Phint Thu is a 6-month-old girl and is the first child. Her parents are farmers. Phyu Phint Thu was born healthy but there are rashes on her hip, which last over 5 months. Rashes have become increasingly larger and festered. She started having a fever and the wound was swelling up.


Phyu Phint Thu is a 6-month-old girl and is the first child. Her parents are from a small village in Myawaddy,[1] Burma/Myanmar.  There are around 100 households and most of the villagers are either subsistence farmers or daily workers. Phyu Phint Thu’s parents are also farmers. Her parents used to work together in Bangkok, Thailand until her mom, Ei Ei Than, got pregnant. Ei Ei Than was suggested by her husband that she go back to Myawaddy. Their income was around THB 300 (USD 9.6) a day but it is much less as currently only her dad works.

Ei Ei Than attended antenatal care program at a clinic in her village and gave birth to Phyu Phint Thu at Myawaddy hospital. She was admitted for 5 days and was charged MMK 200,000 (USD 148).[2] Phyu Phint Thu was born healthy but there are rashes on her hip. With concerns, her mom asked people in the village about it and people told her it is normal that newborn baby has some rashes. Nevertheless, it had been already 5 months but the rashes were still there as like insect bites on Phyu Phint Thu’s hip. A few days later, the rashes became increasingly larger and festered. Phyu Phint Thu started having a fever and the wound was swelling up.

Ei Ei Than needed to do something for her baby. She, first, went to the clinic with her daughter in the village twice and received treatment. However, there didn’t seem any improvement. So, she tried another clinic twice as well but so far from the wound getting better but it got worse. She eventually decided to come to Mae Tao Clinic. She has no legal document to cross the Thai-Burma border but she had to take a risk for her daughter. MTC health staff at Surgical In-Patient Department (IPD) examined Phyu Phint Thu and diagnosed as the abscess. But the symptom was different from normal abscess as the baby was bleeding too much from the wound when putting a dress on. The health staff suggested that she go to the Mae Sot General Hospital to make sure the diagnosis. The doctor at MSGH verified that it is the abscess and she was bleeding from the wound as it was the hemangioma.[3] They came back to MTC and the baby has been admitted to the Child IPD for 35 days. Health staff have given the baby antibiotics and put a dressing for disinfection. It is conspicuous that Phyu Phint Thu has become better and her mom is relieved to see the progress.



“I’d like to thank Mae Tao Clinic to provide free health services and health staff who considerately took care of my baby. Moreover, I genuinely thank donors of MTC. Without them, my family might have faced financial challenges due to the medical bills. People who live along the Thai-Burma border really need the clinic as many are poor like me. Without the clinic, people will have more hardships when having some health issues,” said the mom of Phyu Phint Thu with the bright smile during the interview.

While our numbers of consultations and admissions were slightly down compared to previous years, the bed occupancy rate increased as did the length of stay of our patients. There are more basic primary health care facilities opening up in Eastern Burma and MTC is part of the Health Systems Strengthening project to support these clinics. 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. 10,705 children under five were treated at Mae Tao Clinic in 2016. This is 20% of the total client load. 19,319 were women of reproductive age which is 35 % of the total client load (54,521).

[1] Myawaddy is a town in south-eastern Burma/Myanmar, in Kayin (Karen) State, close to the border with Thailand. Separated from the Thai border town of Mae Sot by the Moei River, the town is the most important trading point between Myanmar and Thailand. [Wikipedia:]

[2] Myanmar Kyat, the currency in Burma/Myanmar

[3] A hemangioma is a birthmark that most commonly appears as a rubbery, bright red nodule of extra blood vessels in the skin. A hemangioma grows during the first year of life, and then recedes over time. A child who had a hemangioma during infancy usually has little visible trace of the growth by age 10. [Mayo clinic:]