In less-developed countries like Myanmar, medical facilities are few and far between. Fewer still are the medicines and treatments needed to fight diseases such as Tuberculosis and Malaria, both of which are curable if diagnosed early.
Tuberculosis is a bacterial infection that deteriorates the tissue of the lungs, along with causing weight loss and regular fever. It is spread through fluid droplets, such as the blood that many patients cough up once the disease has progressed.
Malaria is a parasitic infection that causes fever, fatigue, vomiting, and other symptoms. It is spread almost exclusively via mosquitoes carrying the parasite. In many parts of the world, malaria is considered to be a health threat of epidemic proportions.
Many of the patients suffering from either of these two diseases in Myanmar are desperately poor and internally displaced from their home villages due to nearby violent conflict. Taking this into account, the vast majority would not be able to afford proper treatment even if it were readily available.
Thanks to the support of faithful donors, IDES recently partnered with a local mission in near the Myanmar - India border to provide mosquito nets, malaria medications, and tuberculosis treatments to over 600 different patients.
"Each year, several hundred people lose their lives or the life of their loved ones," our partner reported. "We much appreciate IDES for being the generous means for many to experience God’s love, mercy and compassion."
Pictured above is a 50 year old man named Ah Lay Par who has been suffering from tuberculosis. Before his diagnosis, he was a struggling alcoholic. Last year, he became seriously ill and developed a chronic cough. The cough forced him to stop drinking, and he found no relief in basic cough medicine. Our partner recognized the man, having seen him on Sundays at the village's home-church. After hearing about his suffering, our partner took Ah Lay to the hospital and paid for his necessary x-ray, treatment, and medication fees following his diagnosis.
"Since he is not a believer, I shared him the Word of God. Through this physical help, God was working in this man’s heart and spirit," our partner said. "Praise the Lord! Ah Lay Par has accepted Jesus Christ as his own Lord and Christ. We always thanks God that the help from IDES doesn’t save only the physical life from the lethal disease, but also save many in their spiritual lives. He is feeling better and working well every day. Whenever we go to his village, we meet Ah Lay Par and he asked us to pass his 'Thanks' to IDES and to all who participated in this ministry. Without your help, he would have lost his life."
Some of the patients served were also helpless children. One such child is 7-year-old Titus Phu, pictured here. Earlier this year, Titus's father tragically died from the effects of tuberculosis, which left the family of 4 with little hope of having food or an income. The boy's father had no idea that his suffering was caused by the disease. By the time that his father got to a hospital, it was too late for treatment. Due to the father's regular coughing, Titus Phu and one of his brothers also contracted the disease.
"His mother would give him cough medicine but the cough wouldn’t go away. After about one month, we encouraged his mother to take her sons to get checked out at the TB center," our partner said. "With IDES support, we managed to take them to a center and get x-rayed and tested. Turns out the first and second son were infected with TB. They are currently going through treatments and the good news is that they are no longer coughing--the boys were saved"
Praise God! Without your generous support of IDES' ministry, these stories of both physical salvation and spiritual salvation would not be told. Together, we can make an eternal difference by offering medical care to those with limited access and few resources.
"We extend gratitude to our Living God and Lord who has demonstrated His loving kindness through the ministry of IDES," our partner said. "Thank you for your help in meeting the needs of those suffering lethal diseases like Tuberculosis and Malaria in Myanmar."