Myanmar mission

MedAcross is also involved in the design of a hospital that will be built in 2017/2018 probably around the port area of Kawthaung, far from the city centre and the nearest hospital, where there is a huge slum populated by destitute people and IDPs who daily cross the border to enter into Thailand as daily workers. 

The new clinic will offer outpatient visits and will include brief observation wards and day hospitals, a lab for analysis, a diagnostic unit and an internal pharmacy for patients to pick-up prescribed drugs.

The clinic will also offer free medical care and assistance to people who have no access to healthcare services because of the relatively high costs that they would face to obtain healthcare, purchase medicines and for transportation to reach the only hospital in the city.

Hospital planimetry

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Hospital rendering

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The new Polyclinic in Kawthaung, produced on behalf of MedAcross onlus in partnership with RNDM, stems from the desire to combine a modern European concept of the hospital with Burmese cultural features and construction.

The project focuses on the maximum energy savings, on the ratio of low cost of construction and operation, on the pleasantness of the surroundings and the ease of use by users and employees.

The result is a single large flat metal roof under which a set of buildings are combined to make up the polyclinic; the coverage, separated from the underlying volume, is designed to provide shelter from the rain and, thanks to a natural air circulation, good protection from the sun.

At the main access, three portal totems give great visibility to the entrance; the portal gives access to a wide plaza where medical staff can make an initial triage of patients and users can wait for their turn away from sun or rain.

This space offers an open patio and on the left a service building, inside which a cafeteria service is available for users; on the right side the office / registration building host also the toilet facilities.

The hospital is characterized by a long corridor on which, proceeding from the main entrance, overlooking the various functional blocks; after the plaza / atrium there is the clinic rooms block with their waiting areas, where four rooms are dedicated to specialized visits; then the two medical beds blocks for the day hospital treatments, grouped around the medical block and including rooms for nurses, visits, testing laboratory and diagnostic rooms, pharmacy and teaching room.

 

 

To date, MedAcross has been operating in Myanmar in support of the humanitarian and healthcare project developed by the Sisters of our Lady of the Missions in the town of Kawthaung and in the surrounding rural areas that focuses specifically on providing:

  • assistance to kids and teenagers who are victims of human trafficking and sexual exploitation by giving them jobs in a textile factory in order to increase their chances of finding work and being independent.

  • basic health services for IDPs and needy people, for whom the most common diseases are HIV, tuberculosis and malaria

  • educational services for street children in the city

  • mobile clinics set-up in rural villages that bring free medical care to over 300 people who have no access to any form of healthcare service.

In Kawthaung with the important support of Fondazione La Stampa - Specchio dei Tempi, MedAcross is financing the reconstruction of a Basic Health Clinic with an HIV Center to provide free health care and professional training to local medical staff.

MedAcross will also purchase a vehicle that will allow to significantly increase the number of villages currently reached through the mobile clinic programme, so that more than 1,000 people can be visited monthly by our medical staff.

MedAcross is currently involved in a medical and humanitarian project in Myanmar (former Burma).

In this region, health problems are particularly severe because of the strong presence of Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) living in precarious conditions.

A rather poor area plagued by sexual exploitation of boys and girls who are brought to the lands of the border with Thailand with the promise of finding work and instead they often have to face a nightmare.

The MedAcross association came to know of this serious emergency thanks to reports from Oblate Thomas Haake, who has spent a lifetime working on humanitarian missions around the world and almost 20 years in Myanmar.

300 years of friendship

Relations between Italy and Myanmar have solid roots that are embedded in the country's history. From the the religious Barnabites who in the 18th century had worked in Myanmar, to those of the Congregation of the Oblates of the Virgin Mary who left at the beginning of the 19th century from Piedmont (Italy).

Among the Italians who served in the country we ought to mention Father Paolo Matteo Abbona, who the Burmese scholar Vivian Ba called "the greatest and most Burmanised of the Oblates of Turin".

As a missionary, Father Abbona built schools, hospitals and churches. He also played an important role in delicate diplomatic missions (he spoke seven languages) between the British and the Burmese Court.

Appointed in 1856 as Plenipotentiary of the King of Sardinia, he earned the esteem of the British Prime Minister, Lord Palmerston, and the collaboration of Camillo Benso, Count of Cavour. As an economist, he drafted the Treaty of Commerce and Friendship between the Kingdom of Italy and the Burmese Empire.

These stories show that the bond between Italy and Myanmar dates very far back, and in more recent times, there have been many opportunities for collaboration and exchange between the two countries.

In 2006, a Conference was organised in Turin to commemorate the adventure of Father Abbona in the Burmese land, to celebrate the bicentenary of his birth.

From 2007 to 2011, MP Piero Fassino served as the European Union's Special Envoy for Myanmar.

In 2013, Nobel prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi was granted honorary citizenship in the city of Turin and notary Andrea Ganelli was appointed Consul General of the Union of Myanmar, headquartered in Turin.

Followed by the visit of Thein Sein, President of Myanmar Union in 2014 and the appointment of Pier Giorgio Aliberti, born in Cuneo, as Italian Ambassador in Yangon.

The recent establishment of the Italy-Myanmar Business Council and the Italy-Myanmar Chamber of Commerce strengthen the cultural and economic ties between the two countries.