Go to Blog
Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights

Thailand: Midwives saving lives

This blog post was written by Peter Biro for our affilliate organization, The International Rescue Committee.


Photo by Peter Biro/The IRC

I recently spent a day with Tanaw, one of 15 IRC-trained midwives in Tham Hin, a patchwork of bamboo huts housing nearly 8,000 Burmese refugees on the Thailand-Myanmar border. As I arrived in the camp's thatched maternity ward, dozens of pregnant women were waiting in line to be weighed, examined and given supplemental food. Most women and children's faces were decorated with thanaka, a pale yellow paste derived from tree bark, and the ward's air was permeated by the spicy smell of betel nut, widely chewed in Myanmar.

Tanaw and her colleagues are providing a truly vital service in the camp, which is nestled deep in the hills of Western Thailand. Each year they examine and support hundreds of women and children and often detect potentially life-threatening conditions such as infections or severe anemia in time for treatment and referral to hospitals outside Tham Hin.

To find out more about the work of the midwives in Tham Hin, check out my photo essay here.

To view the original blog post click here

Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights