Jody's Adventures

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Putao-My ride

When I arrived at the airport in Putao this was the vehicle which took me to my "hotel". A gentleman on my flight happened to work for the World Health Organization, and the local health officers put this vehicle at his disposal for the three days he was to be in Putao. I took special note of where this converted ambulance had come from. According to the local guys a native of Myanmar living in PA had donated it. It's original purpose, as indicated by the writing on the side "Mobile Dispensary" bears little resemblance to it's current use. Gasoline is particularly expensive in this region as are medical supplies. The people of Myanmar have so called "free" medical care in that they can consult with the doctor for free, but they must pay for transport to a medical facility or walk, and they must pay for all supplies used by the doctor including things like gauze, medications, and even tools like scalpels and scissors. The doctors are paid very poorly as well so many charge for the services as well or run private side practices to make ends meet. I ended up spending three days with this doctor from WHO travelling to rural health clinics and meeting midwives who will be participating in an upcoming mass measles inoculation program.


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