News / Asia

Karen Doctor Sees Little End to Humanitarian Crisis in Eastern Burma

Increasing conflict between Burma's ruling military and ethnic communities has intensified a humanitarian crisis in eastern Burma as more people become displaced losing livelihoods and income. A Karen doctor working in Thailand warns of the economic dislocation of thousands of people resulting in more children being abandoned.

The Thailand Burma Border Consortium says as many as 470,000 people are internally displaced in rural eastern Burma, with the numbers on the rise due to ongoing conflicts and as the military extends economic control over the region.

The main areas affected according to the Consortium are the Shan, Karen, Karenni, and Mon states with 230,000 living in temporary settlements in ceasefire areas, and over 110,000 now hiding in remote jungles due to the fighting. A further 128,000, evicted from their villages, have to live in state designated relocation sites.

The social dislocation has led to more people fleeing to Thailand or seeking emergency care at a clinic in the Thai border town of Mae Sot.

The clinic is overseen by Cynthia Muang, a Karen medical practitioner who fled Burma in 1988 as the military crushed pro-democracy protests killing and wounding thousands and driving even more to Thailand as refugees.

"The military continues expanding their forces in different ethnic states and then start so called development projects, like building bridges, and hydropower," she said. "Wherever there is new development there has been massive displacement. So we are very much concerned that if the military continues holding power there will be more displacement, more humanitarian crisis on the border."

The clinic currently sees over 100,000 patients a year and the numbers of medical cases are increasing by 20 per cent a year, a sign of the numbers of internally displaced and the poor state of Burma's health care system.

The clinic is receiving more patients suffering from Aids or testing positive for the HIV virus, while up to eight per cent of pregnant women are carriers of hepatitis 'B' in what Dr. Muang calls an "epidemic".

The local Mae Sot community also looks after a growing population of abandoned children. The clinic and a network of 62 community schools already educate 12,000 children from migrant workers and refugees in the provincial Mae Sot area. Dr. Muang says as people lose livelihoods children are being left behind.

"If they don't have better job and they don't have good livelihood so we have seen more children abandoned," seh said. "More and more children come to Thailand without accompanied parents and children are abandoned in the hospital. Some deliver baby and after that they abandon baby."

The children are also being left at the clinic during vaccinations or on family planning visits or the children are left at the schools in what Dr. Muang says highlights an on-going humanitarian crisis along the border.

Dr. Muang remains pessimistic over the outlook for Burma despite general elections in the country in November.

Analysts expect the military to maintain control over the civilian government with the military backed party forecast to take a majority of seats in the new parliament. They say the military actually has a quota of guaranteed seats in the parliament.

Dr. Myang says an outcome with the military taking a leading role in the next government will likely result in further conflicts in the border regions adding to the climate of crisis.

You May Like

Video Positive Messaging Helps Revamp Ethiopia's Image

In country once connected with war, poverty, famine, headlines now focus on fast-growing economy, diplomatic reputation More

Russian Activist Thinks Kremlin Ordered Nemtsov's Death

Alexei Navalny says comments of Russian liberals who think government wasn't involved are 'nonsense.' More

Video Land Disputes Rise Amid Uganda Oil Boom

Investors appear to be cashing in by selling parcels of land to multiple buyers More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Imagei
X
Marthe van der Wolf
March 03, 2015 9:03 PM
Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Cyber War Rages Between Iran, US

A newly published report indicates Iran and the United States have increased their cyber attacks on each other, even as their top diplomats are working toward an agreement to guarantee Iran does not develop a nuclear weapon and to free Iran from international sanctions. The development is part of a growing global trend. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.
Video

Video Land Disputes Arise Amid Uganda Oil Boom

Ugandan police say there has been a sharp increase in land disputes, with 10 new cases being reported each day. The claims come amid an oil boom as investors appear to be cashing in by selling parcels of land to multiple buyers. Meanwhile, the people who have been living on the land for decades are chased away, sometimes with a heavy hand. VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
Video

Video In Russia, Many Doubt Opposition Leader's Killer Will Be Found

The funeral has been held in Moscow for Boris Nemtsov, the opposition leader who was assassinated late Friday just meters from the Kremlin. Nemtsov joins a growing list of outspoken critics of Russia under the leadership of President Vladimir Putin who are believed to have been murdered for their work. VOA’s Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Simulated Astronauts Get Taste of Mars, in Hawaii

For generations, people have dreamed of traveling to Mars to explore Earth's closest planetary neighbor. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports that while space agencies like NASA are planning manned missions to the planet, some volunteers in Hawaii are learning how humans will cope with months in isolation on a Mars base.
Video

Video Destruction of Iraq Artifacts Shocks Archaeologists

The city of Mosul was once one of the most culturally rich and religiously diverse cities in Iraq. That tradition is under attack by members of the Islamic State who have made Mosul their capital city. The Mosul Museum is the latest target of the group’s campaign of terror and destruction, and is of grave concern to archaeologists around the world. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Smartphones May Help in Diagnosing HIV

Diagnosing infections such as HIV requires expensive clinical tests, making the procedure too costly for many poor patients or those living in remote areas. But a new technology called lab-on-a-chip may make the tests more accessible to many. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials have expressed concern over reports of a crackdown on Afghan refugees in Pakistan following the Peshawar school attack in December. Reports of mass arrests and police harassment coupled with fear of an uncertain future are making life difficult for a population that fled its homeland to escape war. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports from Islamabad.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Prepare to Defend Mariupol

Despite the ongoing ceasefire in Ukraine, soldiers in the city of Mariupol fear that pro-Russian separatists may be getting ready to attack. The separatists must take or encircle the city if they wish to gain land access to Crimea, which was annexed by Russia early last year. But Ukrainian forces, many of them volunteers, say they are determined to defend it. Patrick Wells reports from Mariupol.
Video

Video Moscow Restaurants Suffer in Bad Economy, Look for Opportunity

As low oil prices and Western sanctions force Russia's economy into recession, thousands of Moscow restaurants are expected to close their doors. Restaurant owners face rents tied to foreign currency, while rising food prices mean Russians are spending less when they dine out. One entrepreneur in Moscow has started a dinner kit delivery service for those who want to cook at home to save money but not skimp on quality. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Presidential Hopefuls Battle for Conservative Hearts and Minds

One after another, presumptive Republican presidential contenders auditioned for conservative support this week at the Conservative Political Action Conference held outside Washington. The rhetoric was tough as a large field of potential candidates tried to woo conservative support with red-meat attacks on President Barack Obama and Democrats in Congress. VOA Political Columnist Jim Malone takes a look.
Video

Video Southern US Cities Preserve Civil Rights Heritage to Boost Tourism

There has been a surge of interest in the American civil rights movement of the 1950s and '60s, thanks in part to the Hollywood motion picture "Selma." Five decades later, communities in the South are embracing the dark chapters of their past with hopes of luring tourism dollars. VOA's Chris Simkins reports.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More