“During the COVID-19 pandemic, Hein has been worried for her family and felt uninformed about the situation because they do not have access to television, internet or a smart phone…”
35-year-old Hein gave birth to her last child, Thazan, at Mae Tao Clinic on April 27th, 2020. Hein is originally from Bagan region of Burma. While living in Burma, she worked as a day laborer, receiving 4,500 Kyat ($3.18) a day. However, this was not enough income to survive on, so 14-year-old Hein and her mother moved to Thailand in search of better employment opportunities.
Shortly after moving to Thailand, Hein began to feel unwell and decided to go to Mae Tao Clinic to seek help. MTC diagnosed her with hypertension. Her condition made it too dangerous for her to continue as a day laborer, so Hein began helping her mother in the home. When she was 17, Hein married her husband. Today, she lives with her husband and five children in Mae Sot, Tak Province, Thailand. Because of her health, Hein’s husband is the only one in the family able to work. Their family must survive on 250 THB ($7.47) he earns each day. Fortunately, Hein and her family live in their home rent free, but they do not have any electricity. The family has no legal documentation to stay in Thailand, but the husband’s boss provided them with a permit to allow them to stay.
Hein has tried a variety of contraceptives to prevent pregnancy but has struggled to find a form of contraceptive that does not negatively affect her hypertension. Hein did not realize she was pregnant until she began to feel fetal movement. Soon after, Hein came to Mae Tao Clinic for further assessment and was informed that she was approximately six months pregnant.
On April 27th, 2020, Hein came to Mae Tao Clinic and went into premature labor because of severe high blood pressure, also known as pre-eclampsia. Her baby weighed 2.2 kg (4lb 13oz) at birth and dropped down to 1.8 kg (4lbs) due to difficulty breast feeding. As a result, the MTC staff completed three-hour observation of the baby for three days and provided her with IV antibiotics for five days. Additionally, Hein received blood pressure medication to treat her hypertension.
The family is very happy to have a new baby. When the child grows up, Hein would like her children to attend school close to where their father works. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Hein faces additional challenges because her husband cannot work as much as usual and earns less income as a result. Throughout the crisis Hein has been worried for her family and felt uninformed about the situation because they do not have access to television, internet or a smart phone. Fortunately, the family received some COVID-19 health information from an organization that came to their community. They hope that things return to normal soon so her husband can begin working more to support the family.
“We appreciate the MTC staff and donors for helping me deliver my baby and take care of the service for free. If I had given birth at home with a traditional birth attendant, I worry that I would not have survived because of my health condition. The clinic staff gave me medicine that saved my life,” said Hein.
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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