Khao, a Health Poverty Action Community Mobilization Officer working in Kachin state in Myanmar, is determined to reach even the most remote areas, despite the significant hazards.
It’s a huge challenge for us. The natural environment here is very difficult. The households are very far apart from one another. The rain never stops during the rainy seasons and some areas have no access at all…But I want to do it. We Kachin people were born and raised here. This place is our home. I feel obliged to do this so I will take responsibility to reach every corner of our homeland.
The majority of our staff and volunteers, like Khao, are members of the local community who understand the cultural context where they work, but even they can face difficulties.
The first time they came, they did not trust us very much. But the second or third time, when they started to feel better with medicines we prescribed, they changed their minds. Now people come to see us when they just have even a little bit of fever. They did not act like this before. Back then they knew nearly nothing about health.
In collaboration with local government, Health Poverty Action is working to improve the coverage and quality of services, putting systems in place so that people can access more effective and culturally appropriate healthcare. We do this by giving medical training to health workers who have the local knowledge of these communities and their local dialects. These health workers provide mobile clinics that reach even the most remote regions, and are able to supply equipment and medicines to regional clinics. We are also bridging the gap between the Chinese and Myanmar government health services, initiating conversations, seminars and activities to ensure effective, sustainable change.