Mae Tao Clinic
The Mae Tao Clinic (MTC), also known as Dr. Cynthia’s clinic after its founder Dr. Cynthia Maung, is a community based organisation (CBO), which has been providing primary healthcare service and protection to community from Burma/Myanmar in Western Thailand since 1989. It is based in the border town of Mae Sot, approximately 500 km North West of Bangkok and serves a population of around 150,000 - 250,000 people who shelter in Burma's mountainous border region and, more recently, the growing Burmese migrant workers in Thailand who live in and around Mae Sot. Mae Tao Clinic has average 110,000 consultations annually. Of them 52% reside in Thailand, who are mostly undocumented and displaced due to armed conflicts or/and poverty and other 48% cross the border to seek health services.
In 1988, during Burma's ruling military junta’s violent suppression of the pro-democracy movement, which culminated in the 1988 Uprising (see also 8888 Uprising), Dr. Maung was among many Burmese who fled across the border into neighbouring Thailand where she established a makeshift facility in Mae Sot to treat the injuries sustained by fellow refugees. In that year the clinic treated some 2000 individuals. The clinic has been there ever since and has grown in size to offer a wide range of health care services, social services, training, outreach programmes as well as child protection and health education. In 2006 the clinic saw 80,000 people pass through its doors.
Today, MTC continues to care for the sick and wounded refugees, mostly from Karen State, who have been forced from their villages (follow this link for a run down of the situation there); villages which are invariably burned to the ground in the military junta's 'scorched earth' policy - part of an overarching doctrine known as the 'Four Cuts'.
In summer 2008 the American president, George Bush, visited Thailand with his wife, Laura. The Mae Tao Clinic was visited by Mrs. Bush, where she spoke of her support for Dr. Maung and the clinic's work.
- To provide health services for displaced Burmese populations along the Thailand-Burma border.
- To provide initial training of health workers and subsequent corollary medical education.
- To strengthen health information systems along the border.
- To improve health, knowledge, attitudes, and practices within local Burmese populations.
- To promote collaboration among local ethnic health organizations.
- To strengthen networking and partnership with international health professionals and institutions.
- Medical Service OPD (outpatients department)
- Medical Service IPD (inpatients department)
- Surgical Service OPD/IPD
- Reproductive Health OPD/IPD
- Child Health Service OPD/IPD
- Health Education and Counselling
- Laboratory and Blood Bank
- Primary Eye Care and Eye Surgery
- Prosthetics and Rehabilitation
- Malaria Treatment
- HIV/AIDS Prevention (Safe Blood, VCT (Voluntary Confidential Testing and Counselling service))
- Tuberculosis Case Finding and Referrals
- Mae Sot Hospital Referrals
- Children's Development Center (K-12 school) with 892 students (2017 - 2018 academic year)
- Boarding Houses for CDC Students, 214 children
- Dry Food Program for Boarding Houses supporting 1,964 students
- Health Services - 240 staff
- Training & Community Health Outreach - 21 staff
- Operations - 31 staff
- Community Operations - 60 staff
- Burma Based Health Services ( Including : Pa Hite ) - 57 (8 + 49) staff
- Child Protection - 20 staff
- Education - 60 staff
- Total - 489 staff (Oct, 2017)
Dr. Cynthia Maung
Cynthia Maung - for some a latter day 'Mother Teresa of Burma' - was born December 6, 1959 in Moulmein, Burma (aka Myanmar). The fourth of eight children, she graduated from the Institute of Medication, University of Rangoon, in 1985. Since 1997, Dr. Maung’s contribution to the Burmese refugee community in Thailand has been widely recognised and internationally acclaimed. In the words of the Committee from the prestigious Ramon Magsaysay Award for Community Leadership,
‘[i]n electing Cynthia Maung to receive the 2002 Award [...] the board of trustees recognizes her humane and fearless response to the urgent medical needs of thousands of refugees and displaced persons along the Thailand-Burma border’.
Despite her substantial contribution to the local community the Thai government does not officially recognise Dr. Cynthia's citizenship status; she is essentially a stateless person and does not, therefore, enjoy basic citizen rights. This makes her existence in Thailand a precarious one and has always cast doubt over the clinic’s future.
- 2017 - Baptist World Alliance Honors Cynthia Maung’s Work at the Mae Tao Clinic
- 2015 - The 25th Ilga Foundation Award for Public Service
- 2013 - Sydney Peace Prize
- 2012 - National Endowment for Democracy’s 2012 Democracy Award
- 2009 - Inspiration Model Award from "Khon Khon Khon", Thai Television Program
- 2008 - Catalonia International Prize along with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi
- 2007 - Asia Democracy and Human Rights Award (Taiwan Foundation for Democracy)
- 2007 - World’s Children’s Prize for the Rights of the Child Honorary Award (Children’s World Association, Sweden)
- 2005 - Nominated as part of the 1,000 Women Nobel Peace Prize Nomination
- 2005 - Unsung Heroes of Compassion Award from the Dalai Lama and Wisdom in Action
- 2005 - The Eighth Global Concern for Human Life Award
- 2005 - Included in Time Magazine’s November Article on 18 Global Health Heroes
- 2002 - Magsaysay Award for community leadership
- 2001 - Foundation for Human Rights in Asia Special Award
- 2001 - Van Heuven Goedhart Award
- 1999 - Jonathon Mann Health and Human Rights Award
- 1999 - American Women's Medical Association President's Award
- 1999 - John Humphrey Freedom Award
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-10-31. Retrieved 2008-08-20.
-  Mae Tao Clinic Annual Report 2016
- "Saving lives on the Burmese border". BBC News. 5 March 2007.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-08-21. Retrieved 2008-08-22.
- MTC Child Protection Department internal resource
- MTC HR Internal source
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-08-26. Retrieved 2010-09-16.
- Time. 7 November 2005 http://www.time.com/time/magazine/0,9263,7601051107,00.html. Missing or empty
- "John Humphrey Freedom Award 2009". Rights & Democracy. 2010. Archived from the original on 27 September 2011. Retrieved 11 May 2011.
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About MTC & Dr. Cynthia Maung
- From Rice Cooker to Autoclave at Dr. Cynthia's Mae Tao Clinic: Twenty Years of Health, Human Rights and Community Development in the Midst of War: https://web.archive.org/web/20100613033408/http://maetaoclinic.org/wp-content/uploads/pdf/mtc%2020%20yrs.pdf
- Messages from Mae Tao Clinic (February 2010): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R5as8vcSRFg
- Today show article about Mae Tao Clinic (2009): http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/26184891/#30577978
- Trailer for documentary film, "Crossing Midnight": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-f63-n0RRos
- Cynthia Maung: "Aquest premi és molt important per a nosaltres" - Televisió de Catalunya (November 2008): https://web.archive.org/web/20101127011810/http://www.tv3.cat/videos/823389
- BBP psychologist Elizabeth Call's discusses her impression of the Dr. Cynthia Maung and the conversation that led to the creation of Burma Border Projects: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-9ZJfTAIXo0
- VOAvideo report, “Refugee Doctor Treats Burmese Victims” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HtupmwRi8d0
- The First Lady Laura Bush visited the Burmese refugees camp and the Mae Tao Clinic (2008) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TTACB_tVDJM
- CNN, October 10, 2007 'Desperate for Help in Myanmar': http://edition.cnn.com/video/#/video/world/2007/10/10/chance.thailand.refugee.doctor.cnn
- YouTube, May 2006: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=glnQr5lc_Uk
- The Irrawaddy (May 2010): https://web.archive.org/web/20100812032217/http://irrawaddy.org/article.php?art_id=18469
- Bangkok Post, "Clinic in Crisis" (May 9, 2010): http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/investigation/37069/
- Bangkok Post, "For Choo it's all work and no play" (December 2009): http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/investigation/29651/for-choo-it-all-work-and-no-play
- Burma Journal, "The Hard Work of Healing a Bitter Pill for Doctors" (November 2009): http://www.politicsdaily.com/2009/11/21/burma-journal-the-hard-work-of-healing-is-a-bitter-pill-for-doc/
- UC Davis Medicine, 2009 Humanitarian Award Presented to Terrence Smith, M.D. (Mae Tao Clinic): http://www.ucdmc.ucdavis.edu/ucdavismedicine/issues/summer2009/alumni/2009_humanitarian_award.html
- Voice of America (25 June 2008): https://web.archive.org/web/20080628191855/http://voanews.com/english/Making-a-Difference-Cynthia-Maung.cfm
- BBC, “Saving Lives on the Burmese Border” (March 2007): http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/6418645.stm
- BBC, “In Pictures: Border Healthcare” (March 2007): http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/in_pictures/6419435.stm
- The Ottawa Citizen, “A Clinic Where One Doctor Dispenses Hope” (2006): https://web.archive.org/web/20121109014945/http://www.canada.com/ottawacitizen/news/story.html?id=09187c19-86f0-4c68-92eb-bdd0028055c2
- Time (Asia): http://www.time.com/time/asia/2003/heroes/cynthia_maung.html
- Ramon Magasaysay Award for Community Leadership: http://www.rmaf.org.ph/Awardees/Citation/CitationMaungCyn.htm
- Seattle Times, “A Land of War: Journey of the Heart” (1997): http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/special/burma/
- Award Winning Photos from Enigma Images: http://www.enigmaimages.net/section290232_278814.html[permanent dead link]
- John Hulme: http://www.johnhulme.net/clinic.htm
- "Community-based assessment of human rights in a complex humanitarian emergency: the Emergency Assistance Teams-Burma and Cyclone Nargis" by Voravit Suwanvanichkij, Noriyuki Murakamil, Catherine I Lee, Jen Leigh, Andrea L Wirtz, Brock Daniels, Mahn Mahn, Cynthia Maung and Chris Beyrer: http://www.conflictandhealth.com/content/4/1/8
- "Mobile Obstetrics Project Improves Health of Mothers in Eastern Burma" Mullany et al., (August 2010): http://www.jhsph.edu/publichealthnews/press_releases/2010/mullany_burma_mom_project.html
- "After the Storm: Voices from the Delta" by Voravit Suwanvanichkij, Mahn Mahn, Cynthia Maung, Brock Daniels, Noriyuki Murakami, Andrea Wirtz, and Chris Beyrer (February 2009) http://www.jhsph.edu/humanrights/_pdf/AftertheStorm_FullReport_2March09.pdf[permanent dead link]
- "Access To Essential Maternal Health Interventions and Human Rights Violations among Vulnerable Communities in Eastern Burma" by Luke C. Mullany, Catherine I. Lee, Lin Yone, Palae Paw, Eh Kalu Shwe Oo, Cynthia Maung, Thomas J. Lee, and Chris Beyrer (December 2008): http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs6/Access_To_Essential_Maternal_Health.pdf
- "Working our Way Back Home: Fertility and Pregnancy Loss on the Thai-Burmese Border" by Cynthia Maung and Suzanne Belton (December 2005) http://www.ibiblio.org/obl/docs3/OurWay.pdf
- http://burmasitmone.wordpress.com/2008/01/13/another-towering-lady-of-burma-dr-cynthia-maung/[permanent dead link]
- No Country of Our Own, by Voravit Suwanvanichkij, March 26, 2010: http://www.rfa.org/english/commentaries/hunger-illness-kills-thousands-ib-burma-03252010144226.html
- Feeling Small in Another Person’s Country: The situation of Burmese Migrant Children in Mae Sot Thailand, Committee for the Promotion and Protection of Child rights (Burma), February 2009. http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs08/Feeling_Small.pdf
- Asian Human Rights Commission: http://www.ahrchk.net/index.php
- Back Packer Health Worker Team: https://web.archive.org/web/20091027044634/http://geocities.com/maesothtml/bphwt/
- Burma Campaign UK: http://www.burmacampaign.org.uk/
- Ramon Magasaysay Award Foundation: http://www.rmaf.org.ph/
- AIDS Ark, a charity that funds HIV medication on frontiers of developing world: http://aidsark.org/a-response-in-thailand/