|Carrying her feverish child, a mother makes her way to the malaria post in the village. She walks through mud puddles and flooded fields, despite the leeches.
||Looking at the shadow, it is midday under the intense heat of the dry season. This TB patient from Kokko TB centre is crossing the Moei River, the border between Thailand and Myanmar. The patient is carried onto a long-tail boat to get an X-ray at Mae Ramat Hospital in Thailand. Strong support from this family member lightens the burden for health workers.
||Aware of the travel challenges for those living in rural areas, the SMRU has a system of central pick-up points to allow migrant women to come for regular check-ups and vaccinations for their children.
|Pregnant women and patients getting on the border ferry (long tail boat) to go back to their village across the River Moei, after their regular appointments and treatment at SMRU clinic on the Thai side of the border. Maternal-child health research includes free clinical care for the mothers.
||This boy with severe malaria travelled by boat downstream along the Salween river and upstream along the Moei river to make his way to the malaria post. It was late in the evening when he finally arrived. The malaria post worker had to climb the cliff where the phone network signal was available to get advice from his supervisor to give the right treatment for a severe case. The patient had to spend a night there. In the morning he continued on his way to a referral clinic further upstream. The boy needed a blood transfusion. The medic called for help and we had to arrange a truck to bring him all the way to Wang Pha clinic, three hours' drive away. They arrived at night and the medic on duty called me because every time they receive a malaria case, our team needs to follow it up. Difficult access to health care is still a major problem in remote rural areas.