The BackPack Health Worker Team (BPHWT) has opened a rural clinic in No-khwee Village, where healthcare is out of reach, in Paingkyon Township, Hpa-an District in the Karen State on March 3.
The BPHWT’s deputy director Nan Snow said No-khwee Village does not receive any healthcare service from the government and local authorities due to difficulties in travelling and lack of clinics in nearby areas to seek medical treatment in case of a health problem.
“There aren’t any nearby clinics here. Also, there aren’t any health workers. There’s only the BPHWT. We, the BPHWT, also face many difficulties. [We have to travel] far to transfer the patients. Local residents don’t go to the clinic because there aren’t any nearby clinics. They try to treat themselves and they only go to the clinic when their [health] situation got worse,” she told Karen News.
Nan Snow continued that this clinic will not only provide medical treatment but also to make arrangements for health workers to make rounds in the area and conduct prevention and health awareness activities and nurture new health workers for the long run.
Burma Humanitarian Mission funded the required costs for building the clinic and the BPHWT will provide necessary healthcare service.
“I’m very happy for the people in our area due to the existence of this clinic because we had to travel via boat and vehicle if there was a health issue in the past. Sometimes, the patient died on the way due to difficulties in finding the boat or vehicle. This clinic is very beneficial for our village, which is at the foot of the hill,” said Naw Mu Say Aye, a local resident of No-khwee Village.
Over 200 people including officials from the Karen National Union (KNU), the Karen National Union/Karen National Liberation Army Peace Council, the Border Guard Forces, and the BPHWT and local residents attended the opening ceremony of the clinic.
The BPHWT was established on August 8, 1998 to provide initial healthcare services in the conflict-torn ethnic areas. It costs of 113 teams including Karen, Shan, Kachin, Rakhine, Chin and other teams.
The clinic is the first clinic opened by the BPHWT after two decades of providing healthcare service.