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MYANMAR: Salesian missionaries re-open Father Giacomin Medical Clinic to provide health services for those in Anisakhan

(MissionNewswire) Salesian missionaries have re-opened the Father Giacomin Medical Clinic, located in Anisakhan, Pyin Oo Lwin in the Mandalay Region of Myanmar, thanks to the Salesian provincial house and the local Salesian planning and development office. Salesian missionaries are grateful for the support of donors and volunteers who made the re-opening possible.

The medical clinic has two volunteer doctors. Han Zaw Htun M.B., B.S. is from Mandalay and Thu Thu Nyein M.B., B.S., are a husband and wife team from the local area. Salesian missionaries are working to secure two more doctors from Pyin Oo Lwin.

The clinic will be open Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. when people are usually finished with work. A volunteer college student will perform record keeping during office hours and the basic equipment and medicines have already been provided to the clinic.

“The work of Salesian missionaries around the globe goes beyond education,” says Father Mark Hyde, director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. “We aim to serve the whole person by making sure that basic needs like health and nutrition are met in addition to other social service needs. Medical clinics ensure that those who are living in poverty still have access to the medical care they need even when they cannot afford to pay for it.”

The origins of the first Salesian medical clinic in the area dates back to 1957 when the Salesian Nazareth Seminary in Anisakan opened a small infirmary for the boys attending the seminary. Services slowly extended to the local population with the launch of a small medical clinic.

Thanks to the consistent quality care offered to the poor and sick in the Anisakan area, hundreds of local people from all cultures and religions, the majority being Buddhists, were able to access medical care. Under the late Father Fortunato Giacomin, who was based in Anisakan from 1968 until his death in 2000, the medical clinic flourished.

The clinic’s two spacious rooms were well-supplied with medicines. Three volunteer medical doctors from Pyin Oo Lwin came three times a week to offer free medical services. When they were absent, Fr. Giacomin would dispense medicines according to the doctors’ prescriptions.

Salesian missionaries also offered free transportation for patients from distant areas. However, due to a lack of financial support after Fr. Giacomin’s death, these services slowly disappeared. With the reopening of the clinic, Salesian missionaries are able to continue the 50-year tradition and honor the late Fr. Giacomin.

Myanmar is one of the least developed countries in the world, ranking 145 out of 188 countries according to the 2017 Human Development Report. Just over 37 percent of the population live near or below the poverty line in the country. Poverty rates rise sharply to 70 percent for those living in rural areas. Only about half of school age children complete their primary education.

Salesian missionaries are responding to the needs of children, youth and their families who are in crisis. Not only do programs address desperate poverty, but they also serve people whose lives have recently been impacted by natural disasters and a refugee emergency.



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