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Another HOT Summer on the Thailand Medical  Programme

Phew! Another hot, hot summer at the medical programme in Surin goes by, and we’ve hardly had chance to take a breath and wipe away the sweat. Almost 70 people joined us during this summer to make it another unforgettable experience (not to mention sticky!), one that the team and I are incredibly proud of.

Thanks to all that joined us for all the hard work and the laughs along the way too. We’ve all had a blast!

We stepped up our game this year by doing more ‘out-reach’ programmes than before, making the most of our time and resources. When we had a quiet moment at our clinic we hit the streets and took part in some truly memorable home visits to assist in the healthcare of the local villagers.

And so we passed the rice paddies and weaved through the herds of water buffalo to get to our more remote villages. These are the areas that we love showing visitors to Surin.

Some of the villages we visited were too rural for the vehicle to go directly down the streets, but with nothing getting in our way we continued on foot to ensure we visited patients in their homes when they couldn’t get the clinic themselves.

The clinic itself continues to thrive and serve as a vital resource for so many communities in the area, and the ‘walk in’ nature of the clinic provided us with a great opportunity to help in a variety of ways.

Diabetes is rapidly on the rise in Thailand, and so screening residents for diabetes that otherwise would not have been is incredibly important, as well as running general health checks for patients that don’t’ regularly get seen; This could be checking blood pressure or checking BMI. This sort of activity may seem on the face of it quite ‘run of the mill’, but not only is it actually vital for the people going to the clinic but also it means our travellers are learning and developing, by experiencing what day to day life is like in a rural clinic.

Added to this, and possibly the most important and beneficial aspect of the programme to our travellers, is learning that ‘people’ side of working in healthcare. It’s amazing for us to watch as people grow and develop not only their people skills, but their cultural understanding. The knowledge that comes with having been in an environment like this, outside of your culture, and stepping into ours is in my opinion the most rewarding part of the programme.

The general day to day activities prove worthwhile for our travellers, as they can learn first hand about a full range of skills from the qualified medical staff here. With the majority off our travellers this year coming from universities in the UK, Europe, and the USA, they have gone away with some first hand skills that will be of great benefit as they continue to study. From this perspective it’s great that it’s a walk in clinic, as on an given day we don’t know what we’ll have to deal with. For the students that joined us, this gave a great insight watching the local qualified staff in diagnosing patients, and how to initially treat them.

Work hard, play hard though, as the saying goes – tuk tuking around our vibrant town of Surin, and our travllers trying the local delicacies (For local delicacies read; VERY SPICY EVERYTHING! that's how we do things in Surin), and hanging out at our favourite bar, Sawasdee Bar. If there is a cooler bar in Thailand I would be very surprised. Great people, great vibe, and great music (when we weren’t jumping up doing karaoke!), and it’s such a pleasure to be able to share these experiences with our travellers. We’re proud Surin people and we love people visiting – especially when they can learn and help along the way.

And to finish, some comments from those who were part of the medical programme over the last few months:

  • It was an incredibly valuable experience and will play a part in my future career as a nurse.
  • I’ve done other volunteer trips like this before and never have I felt so welcomed as I did here.

Frontier Thailand Medical Programme

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