Meet Our Patients (55): Min – Measles and Pneumonia

10 months old Min started having a high fever and continued coughing and crying. Although his parents had him tested at a clinic in their village, his symptom kept getting worse. In the end, Min couldn’t eat at all and had rashes on his whole body. Child Inpatient Department at Mae Tao Clinic staff examined him and diagnosed with measles with coinfections: measles-associated pneumonia…


10 months old Min[1] is the first child of his parents. His parents live in Myawaddy[2], Burma together with grandparents and siblings of parents: 6 members are made up for the family. His mother, Khaing[3], 20 years old, works at Casino in Myawaddy since 2018. She receives THB 300 (USD 9.2) per day and her husband is currently jobless, looking for a job. Min was delivered in Reproductive Health Inpatient Department at Mae Tao Clinic 10 months ago. Since he was about 9 months old, he started having a high fever and continued coughing and crying. Although Khaing brought him to a clinic in the village and received treatment his symptom has kept getting worse. On top of that, every time they go to the clinic, they had to pay 6,000 to 10,000 Myanmar Kyat (USD 3.8 to 6.3), which is burdensome for his parents.

Last week, Min’s symptom was exacerbated and he couldn’t eat at all. Khaing and her husband couldn’t just wait so decided to visit Mae Tao Clinic. After Child Outpatient Department staff examined Min’s condition, the staff referred him to the inpatient department immediately following the guideline. Child Inpatient Department (CIPD) staff examined Min and diagnosed with measles with coinfections: measles-associated pneumonia. He had red rashes on his whole body, a bad cough, and high fever. The Child IPD staff provided him with antibiotics and analgesics as well as eye drops. Due to wrong treatments for the measles from the first phase, measles has developed into pneumonia.

It’s been already 4 days to get treatment in Child IPD. Although Min still needs to be carefully monitored, he seems to get better little by little. Parents told us that they didn’t know the importance of vaccinations. They didn’t come back to the clinic or other clinics for receiving the follow-up vaccinations for Min.

Child IPD staff told the parents that Min still needs to be admitted until the rashes and fever disappear. Khaing is happy to see his little son is getting better. Meanwhile, she cannot help worrying about her job situation as there is a possibility that she already lost her job because she has been leaving the work since Min’s condition became worse.

“I’m really worrying about my job situation because they might have found a replacement due to my long absence. Nevertheless, I am very glad to see Min is getting better. Since we arrived to the clinic, health workers at the clinic have been taking good care of us so I’d like to say thank you to all health workers here,” said Khaing during the interview and she added “not only medicines but also have provided health staff us with health education on nutritious meals, hygiene and child disease and prevention, which is very useful. Also, we were given the schedule for the follow-up immunisation. This time I will never neglect the vaccination for my son.”

For the follow-up on 23 October 2018 after the interview originally conducted, Child IPD staff verified that Min was discharged: after the intensive treatment he no longer has rashes, fevers, or any symptoms.

In 2017, 1,396 children were admitted in the Child IPD. Of them 65% are under 5-year-old and 52% crossed the border to get treatment. Dengue fever, diarrhea, thalassemia, acute malnutrition, influenza and pneumonia together account for 64% of the diagnoses.

The vaccinations offered by MTC are the same as those received by Thai children, and in 2010, 3,841 doses were administered, which became nearly five-times more in 2017 (19,261 doses). To gain immunity, each child must complete the three-dose course.


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[1] For interviewee’s privacy, we use the alias here.

[2] Myawaddy is a town in southeastern Myanmar, in Kayin (Karen) State, close to the border with Thailand. Separated from the Thai border town of Mae Sot by the Moei River (Thaung Yinn River). [Wikipedia:]

[3] For interviewee’s privacy, we use the alias here.