Current Mission: Myanmar

 

Myanmar is emerging from a long period of isolation and is perhaps one of the poorest countries in SE Asia. The Rakhine state in the northwest is one of the poorest in the country. The World Health Organization has ranked Rakhine as having one of the worst heath care systems in the world. We have shipped equipment, and entered into agreements with Ministers from the national and state Ministry of Public Health to improve hospital infrastructure and train local practitioners.

Based on our 12 year experience in Vietnam, we believe that we can reverse that neglect over the course of five years, for approximately $2/person. There are 58 hospitals in varying degrees of deficiencies. We are working with the Rakhine State Minister of Public Health/Superintendent of Hospital to correct each hospital’s problems. Our first project is to introduce a basic laboratory microscope kit. We have already obtained 48 microscopes and each kit requires approximately $700 of ancillary equipment to complete, exclusive of shipping.

 

 

A Rahkine State operating room

Fig. 1. Township level hospital, main operating room.  This is the main site of healthcare for the local populace. There is no anesthesia, and all cases are done (including abdominal surgery) with spinal blocks and IV sedation (a dangerous practice). As shown, there are only three items in the room: an operating table, a light, and a suction machine. Nothing else is present. There is no means to deal with respiratory arrest from oversedation. If that happens the patient dies.

Backup operating room

Fig. 2. The backup OR is even more sparse.

Surgical instruments sterilization

Fig. 3. This is the pressure cooker used to sterilize surgical instruments. It is done outside on a makeshift kerosene stove. It is the preparation for an exploratory laparotomy. The patient was set up for the x-lap with nothing other than clinical signs and history. No x-rays, labs, or tests.

To further this work, we are seeking material and financial support. Please click on “Donate” below to contribute today. Funds are needed to cover the shipping cost of materials, travel funds for physician and ancillary personnel teams who train the department. All donations are tax deductible as AMCANI is an IRS 501(c)3.

Past and Current Sponsors include Kaiser Foundation Hospitals, Kaiser Health Plan, Medtronic Inc., Sydney and Ellen Shapiro, Synthesis Corporation, Alan Heit DDS Inc., Eli Lilly and Company, The Permanente Medical Group, Marquette University Jesuit Associates, Merck Inc., Source Surgical Supplies Inc., and Wexler Surgical Instruments.

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