A new clinic that will provide free primary health care to villagers in Kawkareik Township is at its final construction stage and will soon be ready to receive patients.
The clinic is being built in Nan Shwe Mone village, Kawkareik Township under the initiative of the Karen National Union, will give free treatment and healthcare services to villagers from rural villages in the area. Padoh Saw Maw Htoo, chairperson of the KNU’s Kawkareik Township told Karen News that the clinic is expected to start running at the end of July 2014.
Padoh Saw Maw Htoo said that construction of the clinic started in January 2014. The KNU with support and contribution from local residents and the Democratic Karen Benevolent Army (DKBA) went to the construction. The overall cost for setting up the clinic is estimated at 50million Kyat (USD $51,230).
Speaking to Karen News, Padoh Saw Maw Htoo said.
“The expense of getting medical treatment is very expensive if people have to go to the town. By having this clinic, villagers won’t need to go to the town to get treatment. When our organization [KNU] can provide service like this, it is beneficial for villagers.”
Local sources said that villagers from Kawkareik Township area now have to go to Kawkareik Hospital to get medical treatment for minor to serious diseases – such as malaria, cholera and other diseases. Expectant mothers experiencing difficulties in birth also need to be transferred to Kawkareik Hospital. Patients who need to undergo eye operations now have to go for treatment at Thai-Burma border based Mae Tao clinic.
Naw Ma Ner Shee La, a medic in-charge of the KNU’s Kawkareik Township told Karen News.
“We are happy to have this clinic [out in the open] because in the past, we had to provide healthcare and medical treatment to villagers secretly [as gov’t consider the KNU as illegal organization]. Our health workers were at risk trying to provide healthcare. Now, hopefully everything will go well when this clinic is up and running.”
Saw Myat Aye, a villager from the area said that villagers are happy having a free healthcare service provided by the KNU and it is helpful for local residents who face difficulties getting medical treatment.
The free healthcare clinic, under the KNU’s management, will be located in the Southern part of Kawkareik Township – three miles away from Kawkareik Town.
This is the second clinic constructed by the KNU’s in Kawkareik Township. The first free healthcare clinic that is now up and running is in Mae Ka Nae village and was built in 2013 by the KNU for villagers living the Eastern part of Dawna Ranges region of Kawkareik Township.