Medical Assistance for Burmese Workers in Phang Nga Province, Southern Thailand 2015 Activity Report

Program background

Although the transition to civilian rule in Burma has continued, it has not led to a large repatriation of the estimated two million Burmese workers in Thailand. Many Burmese workers engage in long hours at fishing sites, construction sites or farms for salaries below the minimum wage stipulated by the Thai government and often suffer workers- related injuries. They are in dire straits, with limited access to medical services because they cannot afford to join the insurance system and their employers do not cover the costs of treatment.

 

In collaboration with the Foundation for Education & Development (FED), a local NGO supporting the Burmese people, JVC provided emergency medical assistance and aided community health workers (volunteers), who were promoting community healthcare activities within Burmese worker communities in Phang Nga Province in southern Thailand.

1. Emergency Medical Assistance

JVC staff is interviewing a family of Burmese workers at their home and hearing of their living situations

JVC helped patients with severe illnesses and workers who had accidents which incurred hospital charges. JVC also aided patients, who needed artificial legs due to accidents from working at shrimp farms, with transportation expenses to hospitals. Additionally, 56 Burmese workers were provided with emergency transportation during this year. Moreover, 2,981 Burmese workers were provided with interpretation services, and FED’s staff stationed in provincial hospitals assisted Burmese workers not fluent in Thai in their day to day.

2. Supporting the Activities of Community Health Workers

Health education for Burmese workers

As for community healthcare activities, community health workers supported by JVC provided health education to 507 Burmese workers on topics such as first aid, dengue fever, and malaria, increasing their knowledge of diseases and raising their awareness of the importance of prevention. In total,15 Burmese leaders, teachers, and young men in the community of Burmese immigrant workers were provided with a course of training for four days and nurtured by community health workers. Additionally, JVC assisted in providing health education to 400 children who attended learning centers operated by FED, raising their awareness of the importance of health.

(source: “JVC Annual Report – 2015 report”)

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