Dr Cynthia Maung has been awarded the 2018 Toux Prize for her work delivering health care to displaced, refugee and migrant communities.
Dr Cynthia received the honor at an award ceremony in Washington DC U.S. Dr Cynthia founded the Mae Tao Clinic on the Thai Burma border in 1989 after fleeing the Burma military crackdown in 1988.
From its humble beginnings in 1989 the Mae Tao Clinic has now expanded from a single house to being able to provide services that include child health, general primary care, reproductive health, non-invasive surgeries, HIV/TB screenings, and vaccinations.
The clinic offers patient in-service treatment, an average of five babies are born every day at the Clinic. The Clinic initiated a birth registry where every newborn is registered with the Thai government – registered babies are not regarded as Thai citizens, but are entitled to receive free health care and education in Thailand.
The Roux Prize website explains its was started by “David and Barbara Roux in 2013 to award innovation in the application of disease burden research, and is awarded in cooperation with the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation. The prize recognises the person who has used health evidence in bold ways to make people healthier.”
Mae Tao Clinic’s website said Roux Prize was acknowledgement of the “work of Dr. Cynthia Maung, Mae Tao Clinic and its partners. It truly is a great honour for the health services provided along the Thai-Burma border to be recognised in this way.”
Ms Kanchana Thornton, director of the Burma Children Medical Fund, said Dr Cynthia deserved the Roux Prize for the essential healthcare she delivers to the people of Burma.
“Nobody gets turned away. Dr Cynthia’s has strengthened health networks across both borders. Mae Tao Clinic is of great benefit to the many vulnerable people who need treatment.”
As reported on the Roux Prize website, the health services provided by Dr Cynthia’s are still needed. “Mae Tao Clinic data show maternal mortality estimates in Eastern Burma are three times higher than national estimates cited in the Global Burden of Disease Study, and 24 times higher than estimates for Thailand.”
The MTC website explains that “access to essential health care and strengthening the relationship with both the Thai and Myanmar governments is a primary goal for Mae Tao Clinic. Cross-collaboration would allow for a more comprehensive health approach for the mobile and displaced population.”
Dr. Cynthia points out that “…universal health coverage is the right of all people regardless of the gender or age or nationality, so on the border, we have to work together for access to affordable quality health care for the entire mobile displaced population.”