For nearly 10 years acupuncturist Kirsten Germann has been involved in a charitable project in Myanmar training Doctors at the Watchet Jivita Sanga Hospital near Saigang City to learn and provide Acupuncture treatment to the patients. During that time a purpose built Acupuncture unit has been added to the Hospital and this year Clinic Director, Sarah Major joins the project, alongside Kirsten, Jinal Shah and Peter van Kerval for the three week education program.
‘“ So I sit at Heathrow, anticipating the first of my long, two leg flight to Myanmar, a Starbucks in hand and with some relief that my suitcase containing little more than 40,000 acupuncture needles (see picture- is this what an acupuncturist drug smuggler looks like ?!) several t-shirts and a toothbrush, did not exceed the weight allowance!
I don’t really know what to expect of my adventure but know that it couldn’t have come at a better time- to be leaving the UK in the middle of a grey January and following the stresses of Christmas and New Year could not be better timed. 27 degrees and blue skies await!
I am looking forward to meeting up with the rest of the volunteers and getting down to some hard work in a totally different environment……. Keep logging in for my posts!”
Myanmar Diary – update 2
The saga of three go wild in Myanmar continues,
Otherwise known as ‘The German woman, the English one and the British East African Indian’
Sounds like the beginning of a joke….’How many acupuncturist does it take to…?’ Answers on a postcard please….
Following the opening ceremony at the hospital this morning where we were welcomed by the Hospital staff and met the students, we worked in the purpose built acupuncture unit where we saw over 40 patients in a 2 1/2 hour period. 28 Doctors undertaking the Acupuncture course divided into three groups headed by Jinal, Kirsten and Sarah and the queue of patients extended outside the door and down the street. I’m reliably informed that it was a quite start and the next days will be busier, once word get around that we are here!
Following lectures in the afternoon we strolled to the village, making a new friendship with the monk pictured. Despite the language barrier we managed to communicate in the international language of ‘Manchester United’.
We wish to extend our deepest thanks to the acupuncture suppliers and organisations who very generously donated equipment for the project including; Synergi, Phoenix, Dulwich Acupuncture , Herbprime, and Balance Healthcare. Everyone was overwhelmed by your generosity, we thank you from our hearts for the much needed equipment.
Myanmar Diary – update 3
The weekend was spent in the extraordinary city of Mandalay where we visited ‘tourist’ sites, many stunning Pagodas, Palaces and then scaled Mandalay Hill for the fabulous views of the city.
The generosity of our hosts knows no bounds and we were treated to Sunday lunch at the home of one of our students followed by a whistle stop tour of various clinics, from a free clinic in a temple where patients line up on the floor in front of the Buddha ( see the picture with the Monk being treated at the altar) to an extraordinary traditional medicine clinic where East meets West.
We witnessed a young boy who had had X-rays done showing a fracture to both his ulna and radius be treated using manipulation to realign the bone, a herbal poultice applied followed by a standard plaster cast. It was beautiful to see two forms of medicine working in such perfect harmony.
A completely exhausting but uplifting day.
86 patients in clinic this morning……phew!
Myanmar Diary – update 4
The tally runs on….
123 patients Tuesday.
94 patients Wednesday
Practitioners exhausted. Jinal succumbed to a cold and Sarah bedridden with a bout of ‘Mandalay Belly’ Kirsten, still standing and holding the fort!!!