Myanmar Medical and Dental Mission Web Blog & Photo Gallery
March 16-31, 2019
Here to Serve: Statistics...
The WHA Team saw a total of 1,475 patients on this Mission.
358 dental cases, including fillings, cleanings, and extractions
358 Dermatology patients
155 OB & GYN patients
156 Surgical patients (consultation and surgical cases)
397 Cardiology patients (inpatient and outpatient)
1 Motor vehicle accident trauma case on the road between Dawei and Myeik
Our First Days in the Life of our Mission to Myanmar
A joy-filled journey...
Exciting is an understatement! The emotions of putting on a Mission like this one run the spectrum - and we have experienced so many in such a short time! First, we were humbled and overjoyed by the support of all of you who have made this possible: your donations and supplies, your hard work and your time, making this journey to Myanmar a reality. Then came the concerns for the details of travel: personnel, itineraries, medications, equipment - even snacks for the group! And now that we are here, pure gratitude: gratitude for our team of medical, dental and support volunteers who could fulfill this journey; gratitude for our colleagues in Myanmar and the opportunity to work side-by-side with them; and gratitude for the wonderful individuals, children and families we are honored to serve.
We hit the ground running!
All 23 WHA Team Members (from around the globe!) and all our supplies arrived intact and we had a day to rest and organize for the work ahead before meeting our colleagues at our first stop, Mawlamyine General Hospital, to collaborate in patient care for the first days of this Mission. Everyone was excited to get going and all team members hit the ground running, serving with dental, dermatology and medical general care and surgical procedures on the first day. The major benefit of working at a hospital facility is being able to get to work right away. Our team shares some of the their first week experiences:
A warm welcome...
"On arrival, the team met with the hospital director. He received us very warmly and let our dental team have access to his entire dental clinic, with 4 operating chairs and support staff. The coordination between our team, the Ministry of Health and the regional hospital has gone well in large part due to the help in communication and support planning of 3 Myanmar dentists who worked with us on WHA's 2014 Mission to Myanmar. We are grateful!"
- WHA 2019 Myanmar Mission Dental Team
On this Mission we have many specialists on the team. We are glad to be able to offer surgical expertise and support as part of WHA's service to the community. Please Be Advised: Actual Surgery Pictures are included below! Our team shares a moment of urgent need:
"The WHA Cardiology Team began this Mission by visiting patients on units 1 and 2 along with the local hospital physicians. As we exchanged ideas and discussed services available at the Mawlamyine provincial hospital, there came a new patient who was having severe chest pain, pale as a sheet of paper, with ischemic EKG change and low oxygenation. Dr. Lam and Dr. Do jumped in to assist the house physician to manage this very ill patient."
- Dr. Do, WHA 2019 Myanmar Mission Medical Team
Please Be Advised: Actual Surgery Pictures are included above. These were performed by WHA Team members with colleagues to benefit patients in Myanmar. Please scroll using the arrow to the right to see all photos.
As the adage goes, "Success is preparedness meeting opportunity," and we are grateful for our team's commitment to excellence and preparation! Here, Dr. Sinn celebrates successes of the first day in his reflections:
"So today started out with some trepidation, as I didn't know what to expect. However, once I met my surgical colleague from Myanmar, I was encouraged to see the collegiality that exists here. The surgical chief at the hospital had three upper endoscopies to do...we did the first two together and I completed the final one. I witnessed the team working together flawlessly to complete these procedures together. Two of the scopes diagnosed esophageal varices on patients with liver cirrhosis. We were able to counsel these patients on this. [See surgery pictures above.]
Afterwards the senior surgeon brought me to the operating theater. The surgeons here perform all subspecialty cases including nephrolithotomy. I observed an open Pyelolithotomy case that my Urology colleagues back home would have been impressed with. It was a great opportunity today and we exchanged as much knowledge and experience as we could."
- Dr. Sann, WHA 2019 Myanmar Mission Medical Team
Nations unite! Our international Pharmacy Team
Our Pharmacy Team Members are from California and New York in the US, Montreal, Canada,
and from Myanmar!
"The Pharmacy Team, like all on the WHA Mission Team, is working closely with the hospital team, discussing locally available medicines and accessibility issues for patients here. We have been able to provide medications based on what is available through the hospital for continuing patient care as well as patient populations and disease states seen.
We had great discussions and were able to join the rounding team to share information about a variety of cases. We compared treatment approaches and medications, for patients dealing with issues ranging from cardiac and respiratory illnesses to HIV/AIDS. In addition, we were able to meet with physician leaders to hear their priorities on improvements in healthcare, way of life, career advancement and training opportunities. We even learned a little about the Kingdom of Bhutan and will store that information away for our 2020 Mission there!
- WHA 2019 Myanmar Mission Pharmacy Team
Care givers and receivers...
Expect the unexpected!
"As the team was about to depart the hospital, one of our team members, who had slipped on a stair step the day before, stated that she was experiencing pain in her right foot and that the swelling there had worsened. WHA requested assistance from our hospital colleagues and received immediate support from the hospital's Medical Superintendent (Director) and the consulting dental surgeon. Over the next 30 minutes, the team member had an X-ray, had the film read by the radiologist who confirmed the fracture
in her foot, and was seen and treated by the hospital orthopedic physician. The speed of this treatment is faster than many similar hospitals in the world! Many thanks to all who helped our team member who is now doing great as a result of your kindness and expertise."
- WHA 2019 Myanmar Mission Medical Team
Awakening! My journey on the journey...
WHA Missions are life-changing experiences for many...
"You have too much free time, Huy!"
That's the comment I received for a photo of me in Paris that I posted in November. The comment was from my good, long-lost friend, Doanh Doanh.
"Hehe! Work hard, play hard, Dr. Doanh!" I replied. He challenged me, "If you have that much time, then come with us to Myanmar!"
"I am in!" I replied, "Let me know when so that I can plan!" I signed myself up, not knowing what would be in store for me.
A lot of time has passed quickly since that Facebook post - I am here in Myanmar with World Health Ambassador! We have just completed our work at Mawlamyine Hospital. Words cannot express my feelings of being here in this wonderful country of Myanmar, surrounded by colleagues and newly-made friends who are so caring, so selfless, and so giving.
From the first day I arrived, I felt as if I am home! The feeling is difficult to describe, but somehow so tangible. I easily feel connected with the people I meet, from the strangers on the street, hotel staff, the taxi driver, to my tour guide at Schwedagon pagoda. Everyone has been friendly, genuine and kind-hearted! I feel home!
At Mawlamyine hospital, I witnessed many tough conditions that the doctors and staff work in. Despite the challenges they face, they have risen above all with perseverance and determination. A physician there can care not only for general illnesses, but he or she can also treat cardiac, neurological, and infectious cases! Amazing!
And what else did I see? Genuine smiles! The administration, physicians, and staff welcomed us with open arms. One day working with them felt too short. However, I felt home!
Being a Bhuddist, traveling in a Bhuddist country (the predominantly practiced religion in Myanmar), with a group of people who demonstrate "Bhudda's Heart" at the heart of what they do may have awakened something in me. I have never felt as serenely peaceful as I do now.
Leaving Mawlamyine behind, we head to our next location on this Mission..."
Pagodas line the road.
Monks walk village streets for alms.
Stupas rise high above hill tops.
I feel home!
- Dr. Phan, Personal Blog, WHA 2019 Mission to Myanmar
RIGHT PLACE, RIGHT TIME!
Our next stops on WHA’s Myanmar Mission
Continuing to Serve…
Although it was hard to say goodbye to Mawlamyine, it was time to continue our journey. The next two stops for our WHA Team in Myanmar were in the cities of Dawei and Myeik. We were grateful to meet so many talented and compassionate colleagues and serve
the patients that came for help. Many procedures were performed by Dental Team members including root canals, cleanings, fillings, and extractions, and a variety of dermatological and medical issues were evaluated, diagnosed and treated by the Medical Team members.
Here are more personal reflections from our Team members in Myanmar:
The Right Place at the Right Time!
WHA makes an unscheduled stop...
"As our bus made the journey from Dawei to Myeik, our bus driver slowed for an accident on the side of the road in a smaller village along the way. We realized that a motorcycle and a bicycle were involved and we decided to help if we could. Team members moved quickly to evaluate. The motorcycle, carrying 2 people, had collided with the bicycle, ridden by an older gentleman. The crash resulted in all three riders suffering abrasions as well as a broken leg for the bicycle rider.
Team members stabilized and splinted the gentleman’s broken leg, cleaned and bandaged the abrasions and closed a laceration suffered by one woman. The team also confirmed that an ambulance was on its way and personally offered some monetary donations to support the care for these three individuals. We were glad to be in the right place at the right time!”
- 2019 WHA Myanmar Mission Medical Team
Medicine for Many in Myeik
Another warm welcome...
"Our team received a very warm welcome from the Myeik Hospital administrators and staff, who had prepared meticulously for our arrival and provided us with all necessary support. This helped us to once again move directly into serving patients, working hand-in-hand with our Myanmar colleague physicians, nurses and support staff.
Our initial review of WHA’s positive impact in Myeik is that we were able to deliver medical, surgical and dental services to 818 patients. We want to express our appreciation to our Myanmar colleagues for their thorough preparation, work, professionalism and comradery."
- 2019 WHA Myanmar Mission Team
"Cardiac Kids" and burn victims receive urgently needed support from WHA. Supplies brought by WHA will help
support current and future patients. Click on pictures above to see them in detail.
Hope for a Better Future
Suffering is less when we are there to help...
“It is hard to see what some of our patients have gone through. We especially hope for a better future for those we see who have long-term illness and injuries. We met 4 children who have severe congenital heart disease and need to go to the larger hospital in Yangon for further cardiac assessments. WHA Mission Team members were moved by the situations of these children and contributed personal donations to help them get to Yangon, because their parents did not have the means to do so. We hope they are not too late to receive treatments. WHA will follow their treatment progress once our Mission here is completed.
In addition, we met others who needed referrals and additional financial contributions to get ongoing care: 3 people dealing with recent burns, including a mother and child severely burned from acid attacks and one child who suffered severe burns from falling into a fire pit. Unfortunately, acid attacks are not an uncommon form of revenge between rivals. To make it worse for patients, pain control remedies are limited in Myanmar. Following severe burns, surgeries or other procedures, only Tylenol is given to individuals for pain. Although the injuries are hard to look at, we are grateful for your support that has made ongoing care for these patients possible.
Among the older individuals we have served, we also met 2 terminally ill adult patients with oral cancers. The team stepped in to offer support and we were able to help them with financial donations as well to serve them with comfort care.
Thank you to all of you, our supporters, for your empathy and compassion in helping us help others. You have made an extraordinary difference in so many lives because you chose to contribute to this WHA Mission to Myanmar. Thank you for supporting all we served here, including your part in the healing of these children and burn victims. We will continue to follow and share their stories with you."
- Dr. Do, WHA Founder, for the 2019 Myanmar Mission Team