Country & location Info
No travel to the region is complete without exploring all that Thailand has to offer. Islands lined with palms overhanging gorgeous beaches; superb cuisine; a rich cultural heritage; exotic rainforests; cheap shopping; hundreds of temples and religious artefacts dating back centuries; ancient villages stowed away in hidden corners of the land and more make Thailand one of the most exciting and rich travel experiences for an Australian student.
The community health project is in North West Thailand about three hours from Chiang Mai in the region of Om Goi. It is one of the most impoverished districts in Thailand and due to its remoteness does not see the benefits of Thailand’s huge tourism industry. It is home to ethnic minority groups that survive following traditional ways of living without regular access to education and health services that much of the rest of Thailand enjoy and take for granted.
Health care in the Om Goi district is administered by the Regional Hospital, which students visit and work in conjunction with. This is a small community hospital serving over 100 villages.
The greatest challenge for Om Goi hospital is providing adequate health services to remote, hard to access villages. Mobile clinics are conducted in order to control, protect and promote health through check-ups, vaccinations and health education. Health education focusses on hygiene and epidemic control.
Students from most health disciplines can work with Thai healthcare providers and community based organisations to help deliver services to disadvantaged communities. Groups work collaboratively with the Om Goi hospital staff conducting health outreach in approximately 12 villages during a typical three week placement.
Common cases in the villages are asthma, diarrhoea, infection, muscle pain such as shoulder and lower backache, headaches and breathing problems. Students may also practice other skills if they have supervision and permission from doctors or facilitators, for example injections or measuring blood pressure. Students at the clinic will work on a learning and observational basis, under the supervision of senior staff members.
In Country Support
Nineteen Degrees work in rural communities to promote community-driven sustainable development that place Australian groups in uniquely experiential situations that alleviate poverty, respect indigenous cultures and protect local environments. They achieve this through long-term partnerships with host communities and a focus on in-depth experiential-education travel listening to both university clients and Asian communities. In this way we help ‘change lives through travel’.