English Information: Irrawaddy River Doctors

With the Irrawaddy River Doctors project, the Artemed Foundation sends Burmese doctors and nurses to areas in the Irrawaddy Delta cut off from medical care using a floating clinic.

With basic medical equipment, a small laboratory, basic medication and hygiene items, the team treats between 50 and 150 patients a day on board their ship. Every month, the mobile clinic spends 23 days in a row on the Irrawaddy, heading for a new village every two to three days. Altogether, 16 villages are on the route.


Why do we get involved?

Myanmar – a country on the upswing?

After decades of occupation, Myanmar is finally on the upswing in political and economic terms. Despite the optimistic forecasts for the small country between India and China, some regions will not be able to participate in this development in the future. One of the regions affected is the Irrawaddy Delta in southern Myanmar, a region that is difficult to access.

The Irrawaddy Delta – a forgotten region

The Irrawaddy Delta is economically meaningless due to the geographical conditions and therefore hardly participates in the upswing. For the most part, the river is the only link between the small villages and the lifeline for millions of people who live there in bitter poverty and cannot change their situation on their own. Especially the health care is catastrophic, there are hardly any doctors in the delta and the few existing clinics are in a very bad condition. Apart from that, the majority of the inhabitants simply cannot afford a doctor or the way to a clinic.

What we do

The area we are taking care of

A Burmese team that saves lives

The local medical team consists of two doctors, an assistant doctor and a dentist, five nurses, a laboratory assistant as well as an eight-strong ship’s crew and a cook with helper. By establishing a branch office in Myanmar, all employees with an employment contract are employed by the Artemed Foundation on a long-term basis.

Since 2016, Thang Min Len, also called Min Min, has been leading the project together with his wife Sumyat Oo (Su Su).

Close cooperation with German doctors and nurses

In order to cope with the constant increase in patients and develop medical standards, doctors and nursing staff from Germany are regularly on board. Through the regular exchange and monthly reporting both in the medical field and in financial terms, we can guarantee transparent management of the project.

Since the takeover of the project in 2014, the medical standard on board has been steadily improved. In addition to an ECG device, the team can also use an ultrasound device to refer pregnant women to appropriate clinics when there is a foreseeable risk of complications during childbirth. Regularly supplying materials and medicines from Germany can treat the most common diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes, worms and musculoskeletal diseases to the greatest possible extent.

A medical advisory committee is constantly working on the further development of medical standards, the professional planning of operations, the purchase of important equipment as well as the establishment and expansion of various prevention and prevention programs.

Together we are stronger

Since 2016, we have been cooperating in the working group “Delta Docs” with the two medical ships  Swimming Doctors and Amara Mobile Clinic, which are also engaged in the Irrawaddy Delta. In regular meetings, we exchange views on all three relevant topics such as medical standards or developments in health care in Myanmar.

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