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WHA Day 5 - "Health is Wealth"

Music with traditional Burmese instruments and singing welcomed the WHA team on arrival. It's such a wonderful feeling to have this overwhelming support from the local community.

Embarking on this journey was something that we had inspired to do for some time. As this would be our first trip to Asia and our first health mission, we were unsure of what could be expected. Meeting the team members was the first step in alleviating our stress. Although we were foreworn that the people of Myanmar were friendly, we never anticipated such a warm and welcoming people. They make it a priority to make us feel at home, with two differences: no running and no yelling. Peacefulness emanates from this population. As we travel from town to town, we are being welcomed with traditional music, food, but most importantly, genuine smiles!

As Canadian doctors, we were looking forward to leaving the snow behind for 2 weeks. Unfortunately, It wasn’t to be a tropical paradise. Imagine sharing a 10’x10’ room between 3 doctors, a physician assistant, and 4 very important translators. Due to lack of space, Dominic decided to be pro active and do some triage outside. His strength faded in no time under the strong sun. We quickly learned that hydration would save us in the heat of Myanmar.

Translators work extremely hard and can be difficult to find. Most of them are Burmese doctors and medical students. Having the opportunity to work with them has been so insightful and an unforgettable experience. We have learned so much from their culture and they are eager to learn from ours. Our trip here and our interactions with the communities will have a lasting impact on lives. We can only hope that we are leaving them with tools to move forward and continue to improve their healthcare system.

- Dr. Dominic Legault, MD & Dr. Sophie Richard, MD


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