I will be providing a two week basic training on shock, trauma and wound care. The training will include lectures as well as procedure workshops where students will learn valuable skills such as suturing, I&D of abscess, IV insertion and Foley catheter placement. The training includes daily teaching rounds in the local community hospital which as the primary training center for the medics.
Partners Relief and Development provides an 8 month intensive Medic training program to Medics in the Southern Shan State of Myanmar. The Southern Shan State is a severely Medically underserved area with minimal access to medical care.After completing their training, these Medics then return to serve at Village Health Clinics throughout the Southern Shan State region of Myanmar providing life saving care to their local communities who are otherwise without any health care.
This program has been in place for approximately 10 years and trains both community healthcare workers and medics who serve as the only healthcare system within the Southern Shan State region of Myanmar. I have served as a visiting instructor for 10 years and teach a two week curriculum and workshops on basic treatment of shock and trauma as well as basic wound care.
Creating happy memories for my children is one of my favorite Christmas traditions; but for many children around the world who face poverty and oppression, this is a daunting task. In 2009 I was asked to help provide relief to the children of Burma through a Medic Training Program overseen by the Partners Relief and Development Organization whose vision is “Free, full lives for children affected by conflict and oppression”. According to the World Health Organization, healthcare in Burma (also known as Myanmar) was ranked as the worst in the world in the year 2000. Although there have been some improvements since that time, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Myanmar still has over 241,000 people, mostly women and children, living in refugee camp conditions. Nearly half of these people remain displaced as a result of ongoing armed conflicts.
In response to this ongoing humanitarian crisis, Partners Relief and Development was asked to help provide a basic Medic Training Program in the Southern Shan State of Burma. Since 2009 I have been traveling to Burma during the dry season in November to participate in this program. I just finished my 10th trip where I was honored to participate in the training and celebrate the graduation ceremony on November 12th for the class of 2019 which included 28 Medic Students. Since the Medic program began in 2009, over 228 Medics have been trained. The program is managed by an amazing husband and wife Doctor Team from New Zealand who oversee the 8-month training program with the assistance of visiting teachers such as me. Students are taught the basic principles of diagnosis and treatment of common conditions and during our workshops we teach them basic practical skills including IV insertion, basic wound care, incision and drainage of abscesses, and suturing for wound closure among other skills.
In the villages of Southern Shan State where there has historically been no access to healthcare, these Medics are now providing help and hope and saving lives through the provision of basic medical care. Although they face incredible hardships, these young medics are some of the happiest and most thankful people I have ever met. This year, during hospital rounds a patient who came in with suspected malaria suddenly lapsed into a coma and quit breathing. The students sprang into action immediately and following the training we had given them they put their skills to the test. After inserting an IV and administering emergency medications, the patient began breathing on his own again. He went on to regain consciousness and is expected to recover thanks to the care he received by the medics.
During the Holiday Season we are reminded that it is more blessed to give than to receive and I feel that I re-learn this lesson each year when I travel to Burma to train these incredible students who have to struggle so hard just to survive. I greatly appreciate the Dox Foundation for their generous support of my trip this year and for helping to provide “Free full lives for children affected by conflict and oppression”. If you would like to participate in this project I encourage you and your family to consider supporting the ongoing work of Partners Relief and Development https://www.partners.ngo