At the heart of KDHW’s work are the 37 Mobile Health Clinics (MHC), each with an average of 10 local staff serving a population of 3,500–5,000 people.
Description and Activities
The MHCs are equipped to handle common illnesses as well as those more specific to this area, such as malaria, vitamin deficiency, intestinal parasites, and trauma from landmine injuries. The Mobile Health Clinics provide the second line of defense in combating disease. The first line of defense is teaching people how to avoid disease through healthy day-to-day habits.
Since its founding, KDHW has integrated disease prevention activities into its healthcare work.The clinics are called “mobile” not only because they are ready to move away from safety threats, but also because on any given day, roughly half of each clinic’s staff is traveling around within the target population, educating villagers about disease, holding activities in schools to raise awareness, screening for disease, and checking to make sure villagers are doing the most to stay healthy.
MHC staff receive six months of initial training at the central office and return every six or twelve months for refresher training and updates on new medical protocols. At the clinics, staff use the Burmese Border Guidelines as a reference, adapted from medical literature and the treatment guidelines of WHO to address specifically the pathologies and constraints of the Thai-Burma border area.
Communities in Burma and areas of rural Thailand lack the infrastructure for water and electricity that many societies take for granted.
Border Green Energy Team (BGET) has generously donated solar panels and batteries to KDHW’s Mobile Health Clinics, which would otherwise be without power. BGET trains mobile health workers in solar electric design, installation and maintenance. Health workers then carry the panels back to their clinics, install them at the MHC, and teach clinic staff how to do maintenance and repairs.
BGET provides hands-on training related to renewable energy and micro-hydro construction to ethnic minority groups on both sides of the border. Their goal is to provide reliable water and electricity systems to those in need, and to provide training so that local communities can do maintenance themselves.
The panels and batteries work together to power examination lamps for treating patients. The power from the panels is also used to operate computers for checking medical references, and to charge walkie-talkies which are used for communication between clinics and to monitor SPDC activity in the area.