Migrant Worker Outreach

Outreach: Helping Migrants in Phuket

Many migrants, traveling to Phuket, fall victim to human trafficking. They have suffered extreme traumas, including sexual and physical abuse under tremendously inhumane conditions. They are given care, support, counseling and eventually an education. Outreach medical and social services are provided to those suffering in the local camps around the outskirts of Phuket.

Overall Objective:

To offer outreach education, medical and social services to victims of human trafficking, HIV and AIDS. Victims who have suffered extreme traumas under inhumane conditions and to enable them to return back to their home country.

We deliver help through two projects:

  1. Mobile Health Clinic
  2. Pregnancy Outreach: Safe – Secure – Legal – Care for young destitute migrant women

Building a Mobile Health Clinic

There is a desperate need for medical services to be accessible in the rural populations of migrant worker camps throughout Phuket. Many people are deprived of consistent, modern health care because of their location. They can be miles from a hospital or clinic or part of an underserved population. Currently many of these people are forced to pay out-of-pocket for health services that are normally covered by workers compensation insurance or by immigration law. Unfortunately, many of the migrants working in Phuket experience much difficulty in having access to the same social and health benefits in society that most people are privilege to.

A properly equipped and designed mobile unit can deliver medical services on a regularly scheduled basis that people can depend on. Services can range from simple exams, pre- and post-natal care, lab testing, mammographic screening, dental treatment, and minor surgery to name a few. Preventative care is another way it can assist, by delivering dental and medical check-ups, immunizations, toothbrushes, soap, and basic health education pamphlets. In most cases, mobile health care delivery is chosen because it is the only reasonably economic way to provide needed care. The major advantage of mobile units over fixed sites is their ability to move! It is a fact that donations to mobile health projects not only offer badly needed health services; they also serve as a vehicle to show people that others care for their welfare.

The largest barrier between medical services and the people working in the camps is the circumstance of emergency situations. Often our doctors or the Sisters cannot assist timely enough to supply funds and take the patient to a hospital for immediate treatment. Delivery of a baby for example costs an average migrant woman 7,000 (i.e. $250 USD) but can exceed 14,000 baht but it’s difficult to bring the funds and medical assistance in time to receive her baby.

The most common health concerns seen in the camps in Phuket are:

  • Vitamin D deficiency
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Tonsillitis
  • Complicated births and infant mortality
  • Dental and orthodontic diseases
  • Infections
  • Diarrhea and gastrointestinal disorders
  • Extreme lack of medicine (immunizations and antibiotics)

Pregnancy Outreach in Phuket: Safe – Secure – Legal – Care

The Good Shepherd Sisters offer safe, secure care with some legal guidance for young and destitute migrant women. This program is managed from the Home For Hope (Topland) in Phuket by Sr. Euphrasia Mesomklin, euphrasia@hotmail.com

 Objective of Pregnancy Outreach:

Create sustainable program to guide young women through the pre- and post-natal delivery process for low-income mothers. Ensure guidance for responsible pregnancy planning and eliminate undocumented or registered births through legal support, education, and translation services.

Success Factors:

  • Health Care Services for Burmese migrant workers and children through the Thai Government Hospital or Health Clinic
  • Education for young women on birth-control, adoption alternatives, pre and post-natal infant care
  • Legalized status of mother and child through valid work permits and birth certificates
  • Symbiotic cooperation between staff, volunteers, NGO, and CBO to achieve desired goals.

For more information please contact Sister Euphrasia – euphrasia@hotmail.com.