Meet Our Patients (69): I contracted malaria while pregnant

The mother of the newborn, Htwen contracted malaria in her village while pregnant and came to Mae Tao Clinic for treatment. And although there were no complications during the delivery, her newborn baby developed jaundice…

The mother of the newborn, Htwen, visited Mae Tao Clinic on 18 October 2018 to deliver her second baby. Htwen currently lives in Mae Sot, Thailand, together with her husband and their first child. Her family used to live in Bangkok for 10 years but due to family issues they moved back to their hometown in Burma. Unfortunately, they could not find regular employment and decided to move back to Thailand 3 months ago with hope of better opportunities. Both her and her husband hold a 3-month stay permit and they are hired as daily workers. In general, their work starts at 8 am and finishes at 5 pm. But the available jobs are intermittent and they receive less than half of Thailand’s legal minimum daily wage, only THB 150 (US$ 4.9) per day. In total, they earn around THB 4,000 to 4,500 (US$ 132 – 149) per month. Luckily they stay at their employer’s compound so do not pay accommodation costs.

Htwen suspected she was pregnant and visited a clinic near her village in Burma, where the health worker confirmed her pregnancy. In the 5th month of her pregnancy, she started visiting Mae Tao Clinic both for treatment and antenatal care. She said that:

“When I visited my village, I contracted malaria and came to Mae Tao Clinic for treatment. While I was receiving the treatment at the clinic I also attended antenatal care visits to prevent any possible risks of my baby.”

Although there were no complications during the delivery, her newborn baby developed jaundice. Following the neonatal care guidelines, the baby has been under phototherapy. According to the health workers, the newborn’s condition is getting better and the family will be discharged soon.

“During our stay we learned how to care for the baby after we are discharged. We will look after our baby.

You know, we are uneducated. With no academic backgrounds we cannot find jobs with proper salaries as we are illiterate: it is not easy to find a job not only in Burma but also in Thailand. We hope our children to be unlike us in the future. If possible, we hope they study at a Thai school and to become educated.

Without Mae Tao Clinic, our only option was to receive delivery care at a hospital in Thailand. We have no health insurance so we cannot conceive how we could afford medical bills there. So we thank MTC for these services before and after the delivery. We’d like to thank donors who support these services. Their support is indispensable to people like us, who cannot afford the medical cost. Thank you.”


We aim to ensure specific training for our midwives, improved clinical supervision and improved infection control in the delivery room. We regularly review the patients we referred and monitor our referral outcomes. Of 1,786 admissions to Reproductive Health In-patient Department in 2018, 1,651 babies were safely delivered at Mae Tao Clinic while 135 women were referred to other health facilities for advanced emergency obstetric care.

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