On 2nd May 2008, Cyclone Nargis struck the Delta region of Myanmar (formerly Burma) causing major flooding and terrible damage with winds peaking at about 135 miles per hour. It's now over two and a half years since Cyclone Nargis struck but the relief efforts provided by Orient Express staff on the ship 'Road to Mandalay' and funded, in part, by former passengers around the world continues.
A report on earlier medical relief visits covering the period 10-May-2008 to 3-July-2009 can be found here.
There are a number of collections of photographs showing the aftermath of Cyclone Nargis:-
(Photographs are by courtesy of the relief teams involved).
On this trip, the medical team comprised 4 members, headed by a 74 year old local health assistant went to the Delta from July 23rd to July 26th, 2009 treating 409 paients.
The 4-member team from trip 23 was aided by a local auxilliary midwife and a community health worker, treating 582 patients between August 4th and August 7th, 2009. Trips 23 and 24 together visited 6 villages and brought the total number of patients treated in the Delta to 10,263. On August 8th, 21 types of nearly-expired medicines were donated to Bogalay Township Hospital.
A volunteer newly-graduated doctor, a nurse and a health assistant went to the Delta for 3 days on August 28th-30th. 446 patients were treated at 3 different villages, bringing the total number of patients treated to 10,699.
The medical team went to the Delta on September 11th, 2009 and treated 382 patients in 3 days, bringing the number of patients treated to 11,081.
The medical team's 3-day trip to the Delta starting 5th October 2009 treated 448 patients, bringing the total to 11,529.
On this trip, a further 538 patients were treated, bringing the total to 12,067.
On 16th November 2009, the medical team arrived back in Yangon, having treated 295 patients during the 3-day trip. The total number of treatments given becomes 12,362.
The medical team returned to the Delta on 26th November 2009 and treated 442 patients, bringing the total to 12,804.
Dr. Hla Tun was assisted by Dr. Leila Magaro from Italy on the trip to the Delta from the 10th to the 13th December 2009, treating 601 patients, bringing the total to 13,405.
The mobile medical team made a Christmas visit to the Delta from 24th to 27th December 2009, treating 337 patients bringing the total to 13,742.
The 33rd trip to the Delta was undertaken from 7th to 10th January 2010. The mobile medical team comprised two volunteer doctors and a health assistant. In 3 days, 465 patients were treated, bringing the total number of treatments to 14,207. In addition, 56 overcoats were given to poor patients to protect them from the cold weather.
The medical team opened the mobile clinic in 3 villages over 3 days. They returned on 30th January 2010 having treated 415 patients, bringing the total treatments to 14,622.
The medical team returned on 17th February 2010 after 3 days in the Delta. They had treated 340 patients at 3 different villages, bringing the total number of treatments to 14,962.
A further 784 patients were treated, bringing the total to 15,746.
A further 309 patients were treated, bringing the total to 16,055.
A further 401 patients were treated, bringing the total to 16,456.
Dr. Hla Tun was part of the team which went to the Delta on 9th April 2010. In 3 days, 357 patients were treated, bringing the total number of treatments to 16,813. Incidentally, the Water Festival in Myanmar started on 13th April and will carry on until the 16th April.
The 40th trip started on the 25th April 2010. 744 patients were treated bringing the total to 17,557.
Dr. Hla Tun and a volunteer Doctor lead the team which spent 8th, 9th and 10th May 2010 in the Delta. 436 patients were treated bringing the total to 17,993.
Dr. Hla Tun led the second trip to the Delta made during 2010. 940 patients were treated bringing the total to 18,933.
A further 621 patients were treated, bringing the total to 19,554.
A further 542 patients were treated, bringing the total to 20,096.
A further 827 patients were treated, bringing the total to 20,923.
A further 490 patients were treated, bringing the total to 21,413.
The medical team went to the Delta on 21st August 2010 for 3 days. The team was led by a 75 yr old health assistant, assisted by a volunteer Orthopaedic surgeon from Bogalay Township for the first day in one village. The other two days were spent in a different village, helped by a volunteer health assistant. Patients from a further 4 or villages and arrived Yangon this morning. During their staying there for 3 days, they could treat 516 patients in 2 villages. Patients from 4 or 5 neighbouring villages made their own way to the clinic for treatment. Over the 3 days, 516 patients were treated, bringing the total number of treatments to 21,929.
The regular health assistant led the 48th trip to the Delta on the evening of 8th September 2010. The free mobile clinic opened in 3 different villages over 3 days, helped by local heath assistants. All told, 456 patients were treated, bringing the number of treatments to 22,385.
Dr. Hla Tun led the team for the 49th trip on 24th September 2010. Assisted by a health assistant, the Doctor treated 877 patients over a period of 4 days in four different villages, bringing the total number of treatments to 23,262.
The picture above shows a mother with her son born around 4.0 p.m. on the day Cyclone Nargis hit the Delta. The boy was named 'Nargis' by the villagers. According to his mother, he was delivered by a health assistant from another village but, before the placenta was delivered, her house collapsed at about 4.30 p.m. She and her baby were put in a small boat which was pushed by her husband and brother-in-law. However, due to the tidal wave, the boat was sunk and the new-born baby floated away on a pillow. The father and brother-in-law made a desperate search using a torch and, after a few minutes, found the baby and pillow trapped in the branches of a banana tree. A remarkable survivor!
The free mobile medical team went to the Delta on 9th October 2010, returning to Yangon on 14th October. The health assistant led the team on that trip with help from a local nurse. They treated 552 patients in 2 villages over 4 days, bringing the total number of treatments to 23,814.
The free mobile medical team, led by a health assistant, went to the Delta on 24th October 2010, returning to Yangon on 29th October. Over 3 days, 522 patients were treated in two villages not previously visited by the medical team, with the assistance of a local midwife. The total number of treatments is now 24,336.
On this trip, commencing 8th November 2010, a Doctor, a nurse and a health assistant treated 791 patients in 4 villages over a period of 4 days. The total number of treatments is now 25,127.
[Statistics revised 15-May-2012].