Mae Tao Clinic Provides Prenatal Care and Safe Deliveries to Mothers in Poverty in Thailand

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GreaterGood is turning 20! In honor of our birthday and more than $60 million donated to charity, we’re giving the website an exciting facelift and renewing our commitment to serving people, pets, and the planet. Our donation efforts for this birthday launch are focused on 24 programs that represent some dire needs and the areas where we can make the greatest impact. The Mae Tao Clinic is one of these important projects.

The Mae Tao Clinic, founded by Dr. Cynthia Maung, has been making a huge difference for young mothers and their families since 1988 by safely delivering babies and providing other reproductive health care services to the women flooding across the Burmese border into Thailand. GreaterGood is proud to support the fantastic work of the Mae Tao Clinic through donations from generous contributors like you. You can ensure a safe delivery for both mother and child by donating.

The Mae Tao Clinic is located in Thailand, near the Myanmar (formerly Burma) border, and many of their patients are displaced Burmese people or Myanmar residents who travel across the Moei River for better healthcare. In this area, infant mortality rates are five times higher than the rest of Thailand, and maternal mortality rates are a whopping 24 times higher than the rest of Thailand. Myanmar has one of the worst health care infrastructure systems in the world, and the World Health Organization (WHO) even ranks Myanmar’s health system as the second worst out of all WHO member states—the 190th of 191 countries (only outranking Sierra Leone).

Mothers like Wai Di would be at a high risk of complications and even death without the help of the staff at the Mae Tao clinic. Wai Di had not received any prenatal care and was unaware that she was pregnant with twins when she went into premature labor at home at seven months’ gestation. She became weak and ended up losing consciousness, and her family transported her to Mae Tao for care. The staff there were able to revive her and safely deliver her beautiful twin girls.

The girls, who weighed just 2.5 pounds each at birth, remained with their mother at Mae Tao for six weeks for monitoring, treatment, and nutritional supplementation. Staff members took the time to provide Wai Di with information on immunization, breastfeeding, nutrition, breastfeeding, disease prevention and symptoms, and other health care topics while she waited for her babies to reach five pounds so they could return home.

After being discharged, Wai Di continues to make the trip to the Mae Tao clinic twice a month for checkups. The $15 round trip, however, is more than her family can afford.

“I need to come more often because I cannot bring two babies at the same time, as I cannot hold them both on the motorcycle,” says Wai Di. “It is burdensome and costly, but, thanks to the clinic, I do not need to pay for any medical bills. I know the trips are worth it for my babies’ health, and I’d like to thank you for caring about us.”

Su Ngae is another mother who would have been in grave danger without the proper care she received at Mae Tao. Su Ngae began going to the clinic for prenatal care at four months pregnant and delivered her baby there. However, following her labor, it was discovered that she was suffering from uterine atony, meaning the uterus was unable to contract properly to protect against life-threatening hemorrhage. Luckily, Su Ngae was in the right place for proper treatment and recovered from this condition.

Su Ngae and her partner also received postnatal care information and instructions on caring for their baby boy, Chit Sable, before leaving the clinic. They hope their precious child will grow up to get an education and become a teacher.

Another mother, Moe Myint, had two children and no prenatal care before beginning to go to Mae Tao during her third pregnancy. She and her partner moved from Myanmar to Thailand in search of work to support their family (including parents) but currently make the equivalent of just $6 per day and live in harsh conditions in a temporary shelter. They can’t afford much, but they were finally able to seek prenatal care because the Mae Tao Clinic offers their services for free.

Moe Myint suffered a long labor, and her new son, Soe Maung, developed a fever within a few hours of birth. But because the family was being cared for at Mae Tao, the newborn baby was able to get antibiotics and recover quickly so he can get on to what babies do best—growing up!

Soe Maung is the first baby his mother has had in the safety of a clinic with prenatal care and also the first person in his family to have a birth certificate.

Your donations fund the free medical care for mothers like Wai Di, Su Ngae, and Moe Myint, all of whom were at risk of losing their babies or their own lives if they hadn’t had proper medical care. The staff members of the Mae Tao Clinic do a fabulous job keeping their patients healthy and safe, but they need our help to continue offering free services so that poor mothers like these can afford to get care.

Every cent of your donation goes to charity! Save a mother and child by donating today.

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Elizabeth Nelson is a wordsmith, an alumna of Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, a four-leaf-clover finder, and a grammar connoisseur. She has lived in west Michigan since age four but loves to travel to new (and old) places. In her free time, she. . . wait, what’s free time?
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