Myanmar – The Lotus Clinic
The Lotus clinic opened in August 2014, following the increasing demand for healthcare services from the community of Hlaingthayar Township as well as geographical access to another part of this sprawling and populous township. The clinic provides professional care 7 days a week. The clinic delivers a wide range of outpatient services from acute medical consultations to more complex TB and HIV-related care and nutritional support to a township population of approximately 700,000.
A 50/50 Joint venture project by Fondation Rolf Schnyder (FRS) and the Sanni Foundation (Sanni) of Switzerland.
FRS and Sanni started supporting MAM since 2013. The Lotus Clinic was completed mid 2014 and has since grown organically.
Since January 2016, this free clinic is open 7 days a week. It provided healthcare for about 38,000 patients in 2016. In addition, over 1200 home visits were performed by outreach workers supporting patients with chronic diseases requiring long-term treatment and follow-up. The clinic operates with 3 Medical Doctors, 3 nurses, 2 counselors, an outreach worker as well as 2 laboratory technicians, 2 guards, 2 cleaners and a data officer under the management of MAM.
Treatment of Children
MAM has a dedicated medical doctor assigned for the consultation of children.
Malnourished children receive therapeutic feeding and most children gained weight within 1.5-4 months.
Treatment of Reproductive Tract Infections
Screening for the most common infections like syphilis and gonorrhea. Female Sex Workers (FSWs) are an important group for STI monitoring due to their high-risk profession and high laboratory test positivity rate. STIs are also a potential risk to unborn babies and RTI management among pregnant women is therefore crucial.
Family planning is an important aspect of care delivery as it empowers women to make decisions on their own body, the number of pregnancies they wish to have and the best suitable time to conceive. Poor planning can often lead to poor health outcomes for both mothers and children. Moreover, women may seek to end their pregnancy through illegal and dangerous medical practices, which frequently result in infections and are sometimes fatal.
Antenatal Care & HIV Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission
The treatment of HIV pregnant women not only saves lives, which not only enables them to care for their children; but is also highly effective in preventing HIV transmission to their unborn or breastfeeding baby. The mothers are enrolled into the programme for up to 1.5 years after the birth of the baby.
AIDS Prevention and Treatment
Lotus Clinic offers comprehensive HIV care including testing, counseling and treatment provided by the National AIDS programme since 2014, as well as nutritional support and transport fee coverage. MAM aims to offer a one-stop service in order to improve continuation of treatments, ease patients’ experience and enable them to retain employment.
Eye Screening for CMV Retinitis and Other Pathology to Prevent Blindness
People with severe HIV infection have a high risk of becoming blind due to cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection that affects the retina. Early CMV treatment using ganciclovir injection directly to the eyeball can prevent disease progression and blindness. Dr. Ni Ni Tun is specialized in this procedure.
Other NGOs, including MSF Holland, PSI and AIDS Alliance are also referring patients to MAM for diagnosis and treatment as well as expert advice.
Tuberculosis Treatment and Patient Management
In addition, all TB patients receive food support (the package includes rice, beans, oil, salt and blended food) from World Food Program WFP) to improve their nutritional status. Outreach support workers regularly visit the patients’ house for treatment adherence, discuss the drugs’ side effects, and offer social counseling.
Daycare Management of Severely Sick Patients and Referrals
MAM can only provide treatment to patients during the day (government policy). MAM refers very ill patients to the local hospital for intensive treatments. Patients requiring long-term treatment who are relatively well, can attend the day care center on a daily basis.
Counselling, Home visits for Patients with Chronic Diseases
Counselling is an important part of healthcare delivery, especially for patients with chronic diseases like HIV and TB, where lifelong treatment can be challenging and treatment adherence is vital to prevent the development of drug resistance.
Food and Travel Support
Patients with serious chronic diseases and poor health are more likely to face unemployment, which may lead to reduced income and poverty. Some may sell part of their medicines in order to support their family leading to treatment failure and the development of drug resistance. MAM is able to provide food supported by the World Food programme (WFP) as well as transport fee coverage to help patients attend their health appointment and build physical strength.