Meet Our Patients (57): Poe Chi’s Story – Suspected Meningitis

2-day-old Poe Chi started becoming feverish. His mom brought him to a clinic in the village to receive treatment. However, over 2 days Poe Chi’s fever was not dropping but rather his body was burning with fever. Eventually, Poe Chi became unconscious. His mom noticed the urgency of the situation, she hailed a taxi came to Mae Tao Clinic immediately…

 

Before Poe Chi was discharged. Now he stops crying, enjoying the food.

2 years old Poe Chi[1] has 3 siblings, living with 6 family members. He lives in a small village near Myawaddy[2], Karen State in Burma with his family. There are around 80 households living in the village with one primary school and a small clinic. Most children in the village who want to study after grade 6 cross the Thai-Burma border and attend migrant learning centre on the Thai side. Majority of villagers are subsistence farmers. Poe Chi’s family has no steady income; they rely on the harvest, which they consume or sell in exchange for some money.

One day, Poe Chi started becoming feverish. His mom, Nan Khan brought him to the clinic in the village to receive treatment. However, over 2 days Poe Chi’s fever was not dropping but rather his body was burning with fever. Eventually, Poe Chi became unconscious. Nan Khan noticed the urgency of the situation, she hailed a taxi came to Mae Tao Clinic immediately. Once they arrived at the clinic, health staff admitted Poe Chi into the Child Inpatient Department and ran a number of tests: A Complete Blood Count (CBC) test including Tuberculosis test; Malaria test; Hemoglobin test; Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency (G6PD) test. With the test results, health staff diagnosed him with the G6PD deficiency and suspected meningitis. Health staff provided Poe Chi with intensive treatment, and Poe Chi was given certain calories through the nasal-gastro tube for a week. After 4 days with the intensive care, Poe Chi came to consciousness.

When Poe Chi was admitted. He continued crying and looked suffering.

Poe Chi was going through some hardships but he is making it well. He is still a bit weary but he certainly is getting better.

“My son was delivered at home. He was very sick when he was 3-month-old so I brought him to Mae Tao Clinic get some treatment. I didn’t know much about nutrition, hygiene, child disease and prevention but during the stay at the clinic, I’ve learned a lot from health workers.

During the intensive care and treatment, although Poe Chi was still weary, he started eating and playing with his mom.

Frankly speaking, I was so scared of that my son couldn’t make it while he was unconscious for 4 days. But thanks to the health workers at the clinic, now he gets better and I am so relieved. I cannot thank all health workers enough for taking good care of him. It is the scariest thing you can imagine that you have no savings and you don’t speak a word of language where you are when your child is sick. I really can’t imagine how it would’ve turned out without Mae Tao Clinic,” said Poe Chi’s mom with a sigh of relief.


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 Burma, in 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: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myawaddy]

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