Burma Children Medical Fund
When BCMF was established at the Mae Tao Clinic (MTC) in 2006, the primary aim of the program was to treat the increasing number of children coming to the Thai-Burma border with complex medical conditions requiring surgery or advanced medical treatment that was beyond the clinic’s capacity. Local clinics and hospitals on the border also did not have the facilities to treat these children and their only chance for survival was to transfer them to Chiang Mai for treatment. The situation for the majority of these children and their families was further complicated by their lack of financial resources and their illegal status in Thailand. As either migrant workers living illegally in Thailand, refugees, or people traveling cross-border from Burma, these children did not have access to the complex medical treatment they desperately required.
Before BCMF was established, children who needed surgery could only have their symptoms treated at MTC. Without the necessary surgery, their lives were either severely incapacitated or they died prematurely. Today, while BCMF’s programs have expanded to include adults, more than half of our caseload continues to be children under the age of 18. BCMF treats children with a diverse range of medical conditions which cannot be treated either at the Clinic or local Thai hospitals including congenital heart disease, neurological conditions such as hydrocephalus and spina bifida, gastrointestinal conditions, blood disorders, urological conditions, congenital birth defects such as cleft lip, and severe burns.