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Why the Karen?
For people living in the jungles of Myanmar, quality healthcare can be the difference between life or death
Karen women picking rocks to build the Rain Tree Clinic which provides healthcare for their community
The Karen are an ethnic people group concentrated in the eastern mountainous region of Myanmar and western Thailand
Centuries old, they make up more than 5 million people. Community-oriented, generous, and innovative, they form tight-knit communities woven together by loyal companionship and characterized by joy and warmth.
Most Karen people scratch out a living as subsistence farmers in the mountainous jungle, where there are very few resources leftover for education or healthcare.
In spite of this, the Karen are strong in spirit, committed to their culture and community, and desire to better the lives of their people.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
The main healthcare problems impacting the Karen everyday
High Mortality Rates for Mothers and Children
The Karen have some of the world’s highest maternal mortality rates (MMR) and under-5 child mortality rates (U5M). For mothers, a lack of public health and access to healthcare can have deadly consequences. For children, 60% of deaths under the age of 5 are from preventable and treatable diseases.
Few Highly-Trained Medical Providers
In Myanmar, people from remote areas usually do not have the opportunity for higher education and doctors from the city usually do not know how to work with people from villages. Not only do you need to take care of people’s health, but you also need to understand the local culture and traditions.