Chin Villagers Surprised by ‘Free’ Military Medical Services
01 November 2012: For the first time in over 20 years, Burma’s military medical teams provided ‘free’ health care services to villagers in Mindat, Kanpetlet, Matupi, and Thantlang townships of Chin State as well as in Magway and Sagaing Regions.
Five mobile military medical specialists teams and two medical teams gave medical treatment and medicine free of charge to 1,240 patients on 29-30 October 2012 in collaboration with state government, according to the New Light of Myanmar today.
A villager from Thantlang Township said: “I was so surprised. Providing free medical services to us by the soldiers is something I have never experienced in my life. Obviously, they are trying to win the hearts of the local people for some reasons.”
The New Light of Myanmar stated the programme was aimed at promoting the living standards of national races in fur-flung areas.
However, Chin community leaders raised questions if it was an act with kindheartedness or ulterior motives while welcoming the two-day services given by Burma’s Army soldiers to the Chin locals.
A Lungler villager said: “Most of the patients’ problems are related to stomach, eyes and malaria infection. They [medical teams] gave us medicines for three days up to a week.”
Constructed in 1991 with no medical doctors or nurses provided, the hospital in Lungler village of Thantlang Township, which is also shared by 11 other villages nearby, has gradually improved since July this year, with 10 new medical staff members, according to the local villager.
Reporting by Thawng Zel Thang