The Karen are an ethnic people group concentrated in the eastern mountainous region of Myanmar and western Thailand.
After decades of political unrest in Karen State (Myanmar), the Karen are trying to build a healthcare system that specifically addresses diseases found in the area. These diseases are easily curable but require access to electricity, medical equipment, medicines and trained local physicians.
The Earth Mission Asia (EMA) project wants to see all people in remote Karen areas have access to high quality healthcare. Started in 2015, EMA currently operates two training programs and two clinics in partnership with the local Karen health department.
“A clinic in one of our remote areas, and one that we frequently partner with, contacted us for advice. They went on to refer a woman to us with newly diagnosed preeclampsia. Believing her to be stable, they started on an arduous journey; the river was severely swollen making the passage down the river to the road where they could get a car incredibly difficult.”
“Rainy season is in full-swing in Thailand and Myanmar. For us living in Chiang Mai, Thailand, that means beautiful greenery everywhere around; rainy, lazy days and the occasional slippery roads. For people in remote areas of Karen State, it means heavy rain all day and no roads at all – just mud, rocks and full-raging rivers to go through.”
“Recently, in a remote village in Karen State, Myanmar, a couple added two new babies to their family, now totaling eight children. All seemed well for the mother and twins for the first week. Her recovery was as it had been with all her other births – some bleeding that would go away within a few days.”
“Last week, seven of us set out from Chiang Mai, headed to a couple of villages in the mountains. Our task was to help provide shelter for a pair of Karen widows. We traveled in one truck – crammed full with people, tools, and backpacks. The seven included Nathan, a friend and fellow leader at EMA, three engineering technology students, myself, and my two teenage sons.”