Graduation Report – Free Burma Rangers Welcomes 18 New Ranger Medics26 March 2015 Karen State, Burma
A report from Free Burma Ranger’s Jungle School of Medicine – Kawthoolei (JSMK)
On 6 February 2015 Free Burma Rangers (FBR) and the Jungle School of Medicine – Kawthoolei (JSMK) congratulated 18 newly-graduated medics. The day of graduation was an energetic day with plentiful smiles and buzzing conversation. The medics were called one at a time in front of their leaders and peers to be awarded the certificate they had worked the last 18 months for: the certificate recognizing them as a medic.
The student’s training began with FBR’s basic training in September 2013. Upon completing ranger training a ceremony was held in mid-December and was followed by the ranger teams’ first mission, in which they were accompanied by senior medics from JSMK. The mission lasted until the end of January and it was in February that the rangers and students sent by Karen Department of Health and Welfare (KDHW) began their formal medical training.
JSMK medic training begins with foundation courses in math, anatomy and physiology, and English in order to ensure the students have the basic knowledge they need for further medical study. Many village in the ethnic areas in Burma do not have capacity to provide education past 6th grade, so these courses have enormous importance for the medical training of the students.
After the foundations course, the next eight months are comprised of a daily lecture in advanced medical practices and treatment of patients in the clinic. This period of time provides a hands-on learning approach which solidifies the practical skills students learn both in the clinic and in the classroom. With this new knowledge the students then depart on their second FBR mission, this time as advanced students helping senior medics treat villagers.
Following the mission the advanced students returned to JSMK for a one month review of their training. The final exam is an extensive written exam challenging their adeptness in thinking of solutions to the medical problems they might encounter in the jungle. With much study and frequent prayer on the part of the nervous student body, JSMK and FBR were happy to announce that all the medics passed their exams.
After the graduation ceremony most of the medics return home to their villages where they will assist in local clinics and join their FBR teammates on missions. Some of the medics will stay on as second year students at JSMK to receive further education and practical experience. Medics have tremendous value in the jungle and in villages where medical care is minimal or far away. JSMK and FBR are proud of these new graduates and are excited for them on their journey to serve their people.
God bless you,
Free Burma Rangers