GlobeMed at Dartmouth aims to improve the health of Kachin women and children who have been internally displaced due to ethnic conflict in Burma. We work with our partner, the Kachin Women's Association Thailand. This year, we will focus on creating an emergency fund for mothers who require surgery or hospitalization due to complications during childbirth. We will also continue to fund reproductive health trainings for adolescents and mobile medical care visits to IDP camps in Burma.
Approximately 120,000 Burmese refugees are living in camps on the Thai-Burmese border. There, an acute lack of health resources, combined with overcrowding, unsanitary conditions, and food shortages, is causing high rates of illness. These displaced populations of Kachin women and children require greater accessibility to health care and health knowledge in order to alleviate the spread of disease.
Educating youth about safe health practices will empower them to reduce the transmission of infectious diseases in Kachin populations. Providing regular community health care will allow outbreaks to be more easily prevented, long-term treatments to be enforced, and serious illness cases to be referred to larger clinics or hospitals. For those that do need to be referred, particularly women giving birth, we are establishing an emergency fund to pay for transportation and hospital bills.
Long-term, this project will improve the health of tens of thousands of displaced Kachin women and children. Our two-sided approach - prevention through education plus treatment through regular mobile clinics - may significantly reduce the spread and burden of disease in IDP populations.