Khin is a 49-year-old refugee living with her father, her daughter and her younger sister in a refugee camp, in Tak Province along the Thail-Burma border. Her family fled from Karen State, Burma to Thailand in 2017 because of the conflict in their area. Khin’s father is retired and her daughter is a student. Khin’s sister looks after their retired father at home. Khin Mar is a day labourer in the camp. However, the job is not available every day. Every month her family receives 1,200 baht (approx. 40 USD) on a cash card from the organization The Border Consortium. This amount combined with her monthly salary is enough to cover their daily needs. They receive free basic health care provided by the International Rescue Committee in the camp but surgical care is not available there.
In the middle of 2023, Khin noticed pain in her lower abdomen. Still, she did not go to the hospital or clinic as she thought the process was normal for women who are getting older and close to menopause. However, in the beginning of November, she noticed that the pain worsened and now the pain is constant. She visited the hospital in the camp, where the medic gave her some medication and she returned home. The pain did not resolve and continued. On 13 November, she returned to the hospital in the camp where she met with the doctor and the doctor performed an ultrasound for her and told her that there is a mass in her uterus. The doctor told her that they will refer her to Mae Sot Hospital (MSH) where she received another ultrasound, and the doctor diagnosed her with uterine myoma - a benign tumour in the uterus and also told her that she needs surgery to remove the mass as well as her whole uterus.
Khin has been experiencing lower abdominal pain and back pain almost every day now. She cannot sleep as she worries that if she receives surgery, she will not be able to work and will not have income. At the same time, she also feels hard to perform her job well as she feels that her back pain makes it worse for her when she washes clothes. If left untreated, Khin’s symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications in the future.
Fortunately, Khin is scheduled to undergo her hysterectomy which will heal her condition on December 4th. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to cover the cost of her procedure and care. After surgery, she will no longer in pain and she will be able to continue her job comfortably like before.
Khin said, “if I do not work, I worry that I will not have enough income for my family and also when I heard that I need surgery, I worry about the surgery cost. When I heard that there will be a donor for me, my father and I are very happy as we know we cannot afford to pay for this expensive surgery.”