Hospitals near border in dire need of supplies

Mae Sot Hospital in Tak province is running low in supplies. (Photo: Matichon Online)

Hospitals in Tak province have pleaded for donations of medical supplies revealing that their stocks are running low after the first wave of the outbreak near the Thai-Myanmar border.

Medical staffs are now treating an alarming number of patients from Myanmar, mostly migrants, both legal and illegal.

Myanmar has started battling the pandemic after a sudden surge early last week.

Describing the hardship and financial burdens faced by state-run hospitals in the Thai-Myanmar border area, Dr Nattagarn Chuenchom of Mae Sot Hospital has made a public request for donations on her Facebook page.

“Hospitals urgently need N95 masks, surgical gloves, sanitisers, medical gowns face shields and PPEs,” she said.

Donations can be made directly to Mae Sot Hospital, Tha Song Yang Hospital, Mae Ramat Hospital, Phop Phra Hospital, and Umphang Hospital.

“We’re serving as a frontline defence against transmission of disease. But we need to make sure that we won’t create a humanitarian crisis at the same time,” she said.

Myanmar patients often were rushed to the hospital in critical condition from the other side of the border. The hospital cannot turn them away, she said.

While racing against time to save a patient’s life, medical workers need to try their best to maintain strict Covid-19 prevention measures to ensure their humanitarian work will not cause the virus to spread into the country, Dr Nattagarn added.

In Mae Sot alone there are about 300,000 Thais and 300,000 Myanmar nationals in the border areas, she said.

“The hospital workload here in this border area is two to three times heavier than anywhere else,” she said.

The border line from northernmost Tha Song Yang district to southernmost Umphang district stretches more than 600 kilometres, which makes it impossible for security forces to patrol the border around the clock, she added.

A number of arrests have been reported recently along the Thai-Myanmar border of illegal migrants sneaking into the country, including Chinese nationals.

Yesterday, a joint effort of police, military and local leaders set up surveillance units to monitor commonly-used border passages in Sai Yok and Thong Pha Phum and Sangkhla Buri districts of the western province of Kanchanaburi bordering Myanmar.

Original Writer: Post Reporters
Source: Bangkok Post