Posted on 9 May, 2013

This post is by Warwick Creeper, Manmar Team Blogger.

zzzzLast year I had the good fortune to be invited to join the Open Heart International Team as an ICU nurse in Yangon, Myamar. I’m excited, and looking forward to returning with the team in February 2013, with view to offering regular updates on the trip to this blog.zzzz

Myanmar money

Myanmar is a uniquely exotic and beautiful country because of its isolation from modern globilisation and the western world. Lately, it has been getting significant spotlight from western media and governments, and maybe about to experience a period of growth to modernisation. It has a lot of catching up to do. Right now, the old, rustic, and worn elements of the long ago British India are still very prominent.

As a first time volunteer to Myanmar in 2012, it was really something to observe the positive collaboration between the Australian and Myanmar medical teams. One can’t help feeling humbled by how openly attentive and grateful the locals in Yangon were for our help and company. Yet upon leaving, I couldn’t decide if I’d taught more or learnt more?

It is often mentioned, but also I salute all those who organise the staffing and equipment for Open Heart International. Such a large scale logistical challenge. On a smaller scale, what also is significant is what each volunteer individually gives and brings to the trip. Collectively, it perhaps, is the good energy that compliments the procedures and operation objectives.

Myanmar patient with book

Two months from departure to Myanmar last year, I visited a few Adelaide op shops and bought a pile of second hand children’s books. Tended to give them out to children at the Yangon General Hospital. Their parents were often more pleased about the gifted book than the child.

Myanmar building site and workers with no safety wear

The Traders Hotel was the principal residence for the Open Heart International Team in Yangon last year. Approximately a 20 minute walk to the General Hospital. On that journey, many of us got to pass and observe a demolition squad clearing a city building site. Working in dry and hot 33c conditions, many of the labourers were women. Remarkably, they would sort through, and carry away, old bricks and wood planks without gloves. Footwear for this type of work was either thongs or bare foot. If you are thinking rusty nail puncture and tetnus, you are correct. There were many ventilated adults in the General Hospital because of tetnus. A significant health challenge for Myanmar.

Best Regards To You

And Merry Christmas

Warwick Creeper

Tags:  Myanmar,