Friday, 15 June 2012

Free Clinic in Bagan (Part 3)

Because of long waiting times at the Free Clinic, lunch is served to waiting patients, January 2012 (Photo: RTM).

The 'Road to Mandalay' charity opened a Free Medical Clinic in Bagan on 6th August 2011. Details about the early months can be found in earlier posts: Part 1 and Part 2.

January 2012

The Clinic was open on 13 days during January, treating a total of 1,605 patients during the month. The Clinic is normally opened on Friday, Saturday and Sunday each week, with both a morning and an afternoon clinic each day.

During January, the Ananda Temple Festival is held. This lasts for 7 to 10 days and is the largest in Bagan. Schools are normally closed and thousands of worshippers accompanied by their children come from remote villages, often travelling by ox cart and staying in temporary tents. This meant that the Clinic was seeing patients from different villages during the Festival. Because of the long waiting times to see a doctor, the Clinic serves lunch to patients, where possible.

The Ananda Temple, Bagan.

February 2012

A patient with Mitral Stenosis is examined by Cardiac Surgeon Professor Doctor Daniel, February 2012 (Photo: RTM).

Cardiac Surgeon Professor Doctor Daniel from France came to the Clinic on 26th February, at the invitation of Orient Express's Managing Director Asia. He examined three cardiac patients. During February, the Clinic treated a total of 2,464 patients.

March 2012

Waiting patients having lunch with the Clinic in the background. Note the large sun awning which has been added to the front of the building (Photo: RTM).

The Clinic treated an amazing total of 4,603 patients during the month. Brief details of four of these are given below.

This boy of 6 has thalassemia and splenomegaly requiring a monthly blood transfusion. A donation has been received to pay for a splenectomy. After surgery, the need for blood transfusions will reduce.

This boy of 14 has mitral stenosis and will require replacement of a heart valve.

This girl of 12 has splenomegaly, requires an urgent blood transfusion, for which a donation has been received.

This boy of 5 cannot walk unaided. A donation has been received for the purchase of a walking aid.

Dr. Hla Tun admitted that he, and all the doctors and staff working at the Clinic, found the month very tiring. However, he commented that many of the patients were not from the local area of Bagan and Nyaung Oo but from areas up to 120 km distant. These patients had had to get up at 3 or 4 o'clock in the morning to travel to the Clinic in order to register from 5 o'clock onwards. The staff felt they could not turn such patients away without providing treatment.

April 2012

The Clinic was closed for two weeks during the important Water Festival and Myanmar New Year which were celebrated in April. None-the-less, a further 2,043 patients were treated during the remainder of April.

This 70 year old lady from Chaing seen during April had suffered a dislocated hip for 3 months. The Clinic provided support to allow her to go to hospital for further treatment.

At the end of April, the 'Road to Mandalay' cruise season finished, to resume on the 14th July 2012. Of course, the Clinic will continue to open, staffed by two local doctors with periodic assistance from Dr. Hla Tun.

More Photographs

Free Clinic in Bagan
Around the Bagan Free Clinic.


The table below summarises the number of treatments per month and the total number of treatments since the clinic started.

Month Patients treated Total treatments
August 2011 355 355
September 2011 784 1,139
October 2011 1,434 2,573
November 2011 1,723 4,296
December 2011 2,013 6,309
January 2012 1,605 7,889
February 2012 2,464 10,353
March 2012 4,603 14,956
April 2012 2,043 16,999