Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Bagan Medical Clinic - Sunday

Events of Sunday 30th April 2017

At 7.30 a.m., I toured the clinic compound. It was noticeably quieter than the previous day. 150 patients had been registered. The Clinic is only open on Friday, Saturday and Sunday each week so registered patients must be seen before the Clinic closes on Sunday.

Around Bagan Clinic - Sunday: Patients waiting for Dr. Hla Tun to start consultations.

The clinic compound is situated on the raised East Bank of the Ayeyarwaddy. I decided to walk to the river's edge, and find the source of an incessant racket. I discovered an area of the sloping river margin, completely unfenced, was in use as an impromptu steel boat building yard. A floating steel hull was moored in the river with a part-built superstructure awaiting completion. On the bank, three smaller steel-framed boats were being constructed.

The Ayeyarwaddy at Bagan (2017): Three new steel boats under construction.

One boat builder was marking out a large sheet of steel into strips, using a long steel rule and chalk, presumably prior to dividing the sheet. Squatting, he held one end of the ruler with his left hand and the other end with the toes of his right foot, leaving his right hand free to mark the sheet.

The Ayeyarwaddy at Bagan (2017): A boatbuilder marking out a sheet of steel.

Another boatbuilder was welding the frames of the largest of the three boats on the bank using an electric arc welder. The source of the electric power was one of two ancient-looking diesel generators. The diesel engine ran in the customary noisy fashion, until the arc was struck when the engine seemed to stagger and almost stop. Once the arc was broken, the engine would recover. After fuelling the second diesel generator, a second welder started work, adding to the racket.

The Ayeyarwaddy at Bagan (2017): A boatbuilder welding the frames of the largest of the three boats on the bank.

A rather derelict paddle steamer has been moored nearby for years. I'm always drawn to it as it conjures-up visions of the 'Irrawaddy Flotilla', but I've still not discovered its history.

The Ayeyarwaddy at Bagan (2017): This rather derelict paddle steamer always conjures visions of the 'Irrawaddy Flotilla'.

I returned to the Clinic just after 9.00 a.m. and found Doctor Hla Tun (who'd worked until 3.00 a.m. Sunday morning) taking breakfast, before resuming consultations.

Around Bagan Clinic - Sunday (2017): Dr. Hla Tun takes breakfast, before resuming consultations. I sat in with the Doctor for a time.

Around Bagan Clinic - Sunday (2017): Mother and baby.

Around Bagan Clinic - Sunday (2017): An elderly patient.

Shortly after 11.00 a.m., the Head Monk appeared to supervise the distribution of the free lunches to patients and their companions.

Around Bagan Clinic - Sunday (2017): The Head Monk supervises the distribution of the free lunches.

I returned to sit-in with Dr. Hla Tun later. Many of the patients had a variety of mobility issues, often age-related.

Around Bagan Clinic - Sunday (2017): Dr. Hla Tun diagnosing mobility issues on a female patient.

Around Bagan Clinic - Sunday (2017): A female patient attended by two family members.

Work continued during the day on the construction of the Hospital Building. Joiners were using both hand and power tools.

Around Bagan Clinic - Sunday (2017): A joiner planing timber for the Hospital Building.

At 5.00 p.m., Doctor Hla Tun had a short break to take dinner. At that time, there were 24 patients left to be seen.

In the early evening, I returned to the riverbank to see what progress had been made by the boat builders. The men were still hard at work. Painters had transformed the hulls of the two boats nearer the river from bauxite brown to a gleaming white and a number of hull plates had been attached to the frames of the third boat. I watched as a plate was shaped to the frames, prior to welding.

The Ayeyarwaddy at Bagan (2017): A steel hull plate being shaped to the frames, prior to welding.

Once again, I retired early, leaving the Doctor and his team to complete their work.

Related Posts on this Website

Next Post describing this trip.
All 2017 Trip posts.

My Pictures

Where necessary, clicking on an image above will display an 'uncropped' view or, alternately, pictures from may be selected, viewed or downloaded, in various sizes, from the album listed:-
Around Bagan Clinic - Sunday.
The Ayeyarwaddy at Bagan.
All my albums for Burma 2017. [Text and pictures added: 15-Aug-2017]