Activity report from BBHC staff

BBHC 2013 Report

We are excited to share our new and exciting developments here in BBHC since our last report.

This year marked our first scholarship program, which awarded the winning scholar the opportunity to attend the ACP meeting in San Francisco, keeping with one of our main objectives to improve and provide continuing training for our staff physicians.   

2013 Scholarship winner, Dr. Win Than Naing (L), who attended the American College of Physicians’ Annual Conference visiting Albany Medical Center, Albany, NY.

We believe that providing exposure to the wider world has profound positive impact on the young Myanmar doctors. This will not only open their eyes by granting access to information and new experiences, but also provide motivation for self-improvement and progress within the communities they live and work in. Dr. Win Than Naing has risen to the challenge and proving to be exemplary and an inspiration to the younger staff members and our patients since. The scholarship program is considered a great success and we are planning to send one lucky deserving BBHC member to the prestigious ACP conference every year. **

The recent opening up of the political climate in Burma has produced a warranted optimism and newfound freedom and fearlessness in the psyche of all Burmese, including our staff. BBHC’s focus has always been to empower the local talent. Our mission, aided by ambitious, young local doctors, has led us to take actions to improve overall health and health care delivery led by and for the people of Myanmar. Under this guiding principle, our staff has enthusiastically taken the initiative to set up our new clinic, with intention to become a 24-hour clinic in Dagon Township. This clinic will be located close to our five monthly clinic locations. This will provide a convenient, more frequent and effective follow-up for the patients in the monthly clinic areas as well as to provide clinic services for those in the clinic neighborhood.

BBHC is growing! We have earned the trust of the communities that we serve, based in part on our investment in and support from the dependable and competent group of young doctors whose commitment to improving the livelihood of the community has not gone unnoticed. Our community-centric approach has made it clear to the community and the patients that BBHC is dedicated to long-term health improvement through quality consultation methods, respectful interaction, patient explanations, dispensing appropriate treatment, honesty, appropriate referrals, and, when necessary, provide monetary support if a hospital admission is necessary. This is evident in the increasing number of patients who travel from afar to our clinics through word of mouth alone.          Each monthly clinic begins with a health educational and a motivational talk, a brief mindfulness (non-religious) exercise and a gentle stretching session.

What sets BBHC apart is our mission to address these problems at their core: by providing support, encouragement, and training for impassioned local doctors looking to change the system from within the system. Due to governmental restrictions, other NGO’s don’t have the opportunity to have governmental employees on staff. Having them a part of our team at BBHC, to stand behind our vision, means access not only to our own clinics, but to government hospitals, some of which are teaching institutions as well. We feel that empowering the local physicians to become better healthcare providers and educators will be the best chance at achieving a sustainable and lasting benefit. Together, we are in a position to change the system from within by shaping the future leaders in the field all the while giving back to the overall health of the urban poor population via education and services.

BBHC’s strength is that we have the intimate knowledge of the big health hazards within the poor communities. In theory, this vulnerable population should have access to governmental hospitals, but, alas, with a faltered system, and costly out-of-pocket expenses for admissions, they aren’t receiving basic health care. BBHC is at the forefront of addressing the rising tide of non-infectious diseases and conditions, including high blood pressure, diabetes, and morbidities due to the misuse of prescription strength drugs, illegal induced abortions, which are under-appreciated by many other organizations.

Currently, BBHC boasts 2 daily clinics and 5 monthly clinics run by 28 paid staff members, which means we don’t have to depend on overworked, underpaid volunteers. To offset costs and to continue to be able to offer financial support for costly medical care, BBHC accepts cash donation from patients who are more financially stable. Additionally, this serves to promote the concept of ownership and responsibility in the community for their health and well-being.

We can measure our accomplishments via the increasing number of patients seen (in monthly clinics) and in the change of attitude in the patient population which is a direct result of the health education we provide. By regular evaluation and ongoing training, we can also measure the improved clinical skills of the doctors via their increased awareness and willingness to use the available learning tools especially the Internet and electronic readers fully installed with reference material. Additionally, we have seen improvement in our doctors’ behavior as evident by improved retention and increase in staff members, the consistent use of guidelines for common conditions by medical staff, increased attendance of educational activities organized by BBHC.

Despite the recent optimistic headlines and the political progress made as access to Burma has begun to slowly increase, there are still tremendous unmet needs.

BBHC IS PROUD TO BE PLAYING A PART IN ADDRESSING THESE NEEDS AS A SMALL ORGANIZATION YET WITH A SIGNIFICANT IMPACT! We are grateful for your generous support that has made our work Possible. We sincerely would like to thank individuals and organizations (Prospero World, Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation, Dhammapala Monastery Switzerland) for your contributions and grants. Your continued support is vital in helping us continue our passionate effort at improving lives of many through healthcare and education.

Your donation can provide:

5$ – Chest X-ray

10$ – Test for HbA1c (Test for diagnosis and control of Diabetes)

15 $ – A month supply of one diabetic and one blood pressure medication

15$ – One day’s salary for a doctor for a monthly weekend clinic (YES! It actually is 15$)

35$ – One day’s transportation of staff to and from a monthly weekend clinic

50$ – 100 Glucose test strips

50-100$ – Medical app on iPod/tablet/smart phone

Your donation supports medications, lab testing, medical equipment, salaries of staff, transportation, office rental and continuing training of medical staff.



**Pre-requisite for selecting a scholar is, if chosen he/she will participate in BBHC activities in a supervisory capacity for three subsequent years. The selection committee chooses the best candidate based on an application essay, curriculum vitae and a final interview.

Number of patient visits

Daily clinics Monthly clinics      Total

2011 11,604 3,703      15,307

2012 10,573 3,942      14,515

2013 8,873 4,462      13,335


Daily Clinics Monthly clinics      Total

2011 20,296,725.00* 16,781,103.00*      37,077,828.00*(40,000.00US$)

2012 22,680,516.00* 21,318,573.00*      43,999,089.00*(47,000.00US$)

2013 17,897,580.00* 35,710,709.00*      53,608,289.00*(56,000.00US$)

*Myanmar Kyats – exchange rate range of 850-950 Kyats to 1 US$

1      2   3 4      5

1. Patient Examination   2. EKG interpretation   3.Chest X ray exam   4.Non-religious Mindfulness Exercise   5. The Team