KDHW held a Village Health Committee (VHC) meeting/workshop on Oct 10th, 2017 at Taw Nor Teaching hospital, Kawtareet township, Doo Pla Ya District. The purpose of the meeting was to raise the awareness to village health committee for the participation regarding health promotion activities and emergency response such as referral of pregnant women as well as other emergency cases.
Participants were leaders from Karen Department of Health and Welfare from central, District and Township levels, Village health committee and others key leaders from the villages, about 100 people.
During the meeting/workshop, participants were divided into groups trying to identify what are the common diseases happen in their area and where do they refer patients for emergency cases.
They also worked out the benefits they received by organizing Village Health Committee and the challenges they faced in their work. In addition, participants were asked to provide the feedback and suggestion in order to operate the Village Health Committee more effectively.
According to the groups’ work, the most common diseases happening in their areas are respiration tract infection, malaria, dengue, gastritis, hypertension, hypotension, diabetes mellitus, arthritis and diarrhea.
For emergency cases, usually they refer the patients to Kawkareik hospital, Hpa-An hospital, Mawlamyine hospital, Myawwaddy hospital, Mae Sot General hospital as well as Mae Tao Clinic. Medical treatment costs in Government hospitals and Mae Sot general hospital are very expensive. The average cost for normal delivery are around 300,000 kyat and 500,000 kyat for caesarean.
The treatment cost for general diseases are different depending on different diseases and severity of the diseases. Medical treatment at Mae Tao Clinic is free of charge, however transportation costs for the patient are not provided.
Villagers are divided into three groups which are poor, medium and rich. The estimated average of the rich people are 14 percent, medium are 42 percent and poor are 44 percent respectively.
Feedback from the Village Health Committee suggested that KDHW needs to provide adequate medicines for the clinics, increase health education activities to the villagers, provide better health care especially for mothers and children and organize monitoring and evaluation activities.
They also suggested that KDHW needs to appoint medical specialists as well as hire enough staff for Taw Nor teaching hospital. Moreover, they recommended that fundraising activities are required for patient referral and ambulance bus for emergency cases, which are not affordable with the KDHW current situation.