Khin Maung Hla, 36, is custodian of a village health center which every week hosts a Red Cross mobile health clinic.
Situated in the village of Thae Chaung, just outside the town of Sittwe, capital of Myanmar’s troubled Rakhine state, the clinic’s weekly visit to Khin’s health centre is part of a Red Cross programme helping communities impacted by cyclical violence and population movement.
Members of Rakhine’s Muslim community, some villager’s in Thae Chaung are unable to speak the Myanmar language used by the doctors and nurses staffing the clinic, meaning Khin’s additional role as translator is invaluable.
“Before the Red Cross team comes I help set up the centre for their arrival, with a waiting area, treatment rooms and a dispensary area. Then when people arrive I help the patients go through the system and translate between the patients and the doctors – the doctors need to understand what is wrong with the patients, and the patients need to understand what the doctor is saying to them about how to take their medicine and how to stay healthy.
I’m from this village, and people here are so thankful for the clinic. I’ve used the clinic myself in the past when I have not been well, and the service is excellent. Many of the patients who come here are women, at this time of year we see a lot of people suffering from cold and flu, and we also see a lot of women seeking maternity care. The clinic has been running here for four and a half years. Before the clinic started people had to travel outside the village to get healthcare which is inconvenient and expensive, but now everyone in the village can easily access basic health care for free.”