01 Sep “House of Hope” Opens in Remote Northern Myanmar
“The heavy rains have made it very difficult for some patients to receive treatment,” writes Dr. John Brang, director of the Blessings tuberculosis (TB) and malaria treatment center in a remote part of northern Myanmar (Burma).
“The area is often inundated by monsoon rains that can make roads impassible for four to five months at a time. But now some of our patients who had difficult transportation challenges can easily be admitted to our in-patient treatment facility. It’s working very well.”
Dr. Brang is talking about B.I.’s new “House of Hope,” which opened this summer near Putao, Myanmar (Burma). The facility is intended as a place where extremely ill patients, and those without family or friends capable of nursing them through the critical stages of TB treatment, can instead receive treatment directly from B.I.’s qualified staff. The House has enabled B.I. staff members to increase their patient load because they no longer need to travel for miles over poor roads to reach isolated patients. Typically, Direct Observation Treatment (DOT) administrators have to visit TB patients nearly every day to ensure they are not infecting others and are taking their medicines properly. During the rainy season, that job can become virtually impossible.
“We are very excited about this new way of providing TB treatment,” says Dr. Harold Harder, President of B.I. “The ‘House of Hope’ enables us to provide a full course of treatment to patients who would normally live beyond the distance that our DOT administrators can travel. It is efficient, cost effective and will significantly expand the number of patients that our team can treat. In short, this new home will be a life-saver for individuals and a means to impact and improve the health of the larger community.”
(Article originally appeared in Blessings International's September 2012 newsletter.)