FBR Report: Naga Teams Complete First 2015 Relief MissionJune 2015
Nagaland, Sagaing Division, Burma
The first 2015 mission of Free Burma Rangers Naga Social Relief team has been successfully completed and took place between the 22 January and 12 March. The mission was conducted in Eastern Nagaland around Lahe Township, one of the poorest and least developed parts of Burma. Many villages were visited and six clinics were held where people were given free medical care by the team.
The Rangers were warmly welcomed by the villagers, who were delighted to receive medical treatments because they reported, through multiple interviews that were conducted by the team, that insufficient healthcare workers and medicines are available in the area and villagers are dying of curable diseases. They accuse the central government of deliberately neglecting development in the Naga areas.
The nearest place for treatment is a two-day journey on foot to Lahe Town Hospital and it is difficult for villagers to make this journey when they are ill and the area is too underdeveloped for vehicle transfer.
The villagers reported that care at the hospital is poor, despite it being a private medical center and villagers are required to pay for treatment, which they cannot afford. If there is medicine available in the area, it is often expired.
The FBR team treated villagers for malaria, tuberculosis, body pains, diarrhea, wounds and injuries, and skin diseases. Many of these people were opium addicts because there is no other medicine available; in order to get relief from their pain they turn to opium and then become addicts. The villagers have requested assistance in dealing with their addictions.
Our team photographed extensive opium poppy cultivation and heavy deforestation throughout the area, which is firmly under central government control.
The villagers also told our team that the area has a school with two teachers appointed by the Burma government which was opened two years ago. Many families in the district cannot attend because their families cannot provide food, school uniforms, books or pens for their children. As a result the villagers are worried about the future of their children’s education.
God Bless You.
Free Burma Rangers