Healthcare in a Myanmar village

Read the list of headings and match them with the article about the healthcare in a Myanmar village. Note there are two extra headings.

1. The impact of poverty

2. A high death toll

3. Limited healthcare available

4. Belief in magical remedies

5. Treating less serious ailments

6. A physical treatment for a serious illness

7. Using natural medicines

8. Unqualified practitioners

9. Impact of modern healthcare


A. ________________

I was born in a village near the Bago Yoma forest, 26 miles away from the town of Bago. When I was a child, there was a small hospital in my village but there was no doctor and sometimes, even no nurses. All villagers hugely relied on midwives, herbalists and traditional medicines to protect them from harmful diseases. The villagers did not know about prevention against diseases. Most of the villagers went to the hospital only when they got serious illness and injuries.

B. ________________

For mild illnesses such as a running nose, cough and flu, villagers treated themselves by drinking a boiled liquid of brown sugar and some betel leaves or ginger. They believed that sometimes, although they took no action for a disease or illness, that these would go away by themselves.

C. ________________

In the twentieth century, poverty and a lack of knowledge about healthcare mainly contributed to the loss of many lives in my village. Various diseases, in particular TB and malaria killed many people. Even a small injury or diarrhea could ultimately cause some people to lose the lives. Some of the villagers died without knowing the diagnoses clearly.

D. ________________

Most of the practitioners were herbalists and magicians and were not trained for and knowledgeable about modern healthcare services and diseases. They diagnosed diseases based on their experiences and decided treatment. There were many types of treatments for different diseases based on different practitioners. Some treatments were terrible and came from the beliefs of magic.

E. ________________

At this time, almost all the villagers believed strongly in black magic and deviltry. If someone got a serious illness, a chicken was sacrificed and then, the chicken was cooked, and chicken curry and rice were placed somewhere outside the house of the patient as honour to spirits or a witch. All villagers believed this would make a spirit or a witch satisfied and could relieve the suffering of the patient.

F. ________________

There were a few terrible treatments for some diseases such as malaria and typhoid. When a patient was suffering seriously from malaria, they were monitored for a few days. If they were not getting better, they were given a severe treatment. The hands and legs of the patient were looped tightly until the tips with rope. Then, the fingertips and toe tips were pricked by using a heated needle and were squeezed to take out the toxic blood from the fingertips and toe tips. Sometimes, patients were beaten by a wizard since they were thought to be a ghost or a witch. Luckily, some people became better after treatment, but some were worse.

G. ________________

Nowadays, with the country’s development, there are some nurses and sometimes, there is a doctor in the village. Moreover, villagers are now more educated and have become aware of modern healthcare due to the preventive measures of government and development of social media. As a result, magicians have nearly disappeared. The majority of the villagers rely on doctors and nurses and have been using modern medicines.

When you are ready, enter your answers in the sheet below:


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