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A visit to the doctor: Age International's pop-up surgery in Myanmar. ©Hez Holland


Age International’s pop-up clinics bring free healthcare directly to the people who need it most.

The sun beats down relentlessly, although it is only 10am. The potholes are treacherous. Along a quiet dirt road on the outskirts of Yangon – Myanmar’s largest city – an inconspicuous wooden house has transformed into a specialist doctor’s surgery.

Inside Dr May's clinic...

Dr May sorts through the medications, at our surgery in Myanmar. ©Hez Holland

Pictured: Dr May sorts through medicines, at a pop-up surgery in Myanmar (Burma)

When we get sick, we go to the doctor. But, after a life-time spent living in poverty, a doctor is a luxury that many around the world simply cannot afford. Age International's pop-up surgeries offer an alternative; they are a life-line for vulnerable older people who would otherwise have to suffer in silence.

Inside the clinic in Myanmar, a crowd is gathering. Volunteers write down the name and weight of patients. The scales are so precious that they're still in their full plastic packaging, to avoid wear and tear.

Chatting, and waiting their turn, at our surgery in Yangon, Myanmar.©Hez Holland

Pictured: Two women wait for a check-up with Dr May

Weighing patients with the scales still in their plastic wrap ©Hez Holland

Pictured: Weighing paitents with scales still in their plastic wrap

Dr May Thazin has a Cheshire cat grin. Just 24 years old, she sits at a small table in the corner of the room, checking patients eye sight with the light from her phone, counting out pills, and making notes on the bags of medication so that it’s clear what to take and when.

Dr May shares a laugh with an older patient ©Hez Holland

Pictured: Dr May shares a laugh with one of her patients

“It’s hard to get to a doctor here; money is a real obstacle," she explains "Older people need care left, right and centre but, when they don’t have help from their families, they suffer.”

Dr May is transforming the lives of older people here in Myanmar. But, with only six doctors per 10,000 people, she has an enormous challenge ahead of her.

Treating Daw Thein Shin

Two friends help 90-year-old Daw Thein Shin to walk. Between them they carry the weight of her frail body, supporting her on both sides with interlinked arms.

90-year-old Daw Thein Shin is helped by friends and volunteers ©Hez Holland

Pictured: 90-year-old Daw Thein Shin is helped by friends and volunteers

A few years ago, Daw Thein suffered heart failure. Today, she is mute. Without this pop-up surgery, she would have no way of visiting a doctor like Dr May.

Daw Thein Shin takes a seat at our pop-up doctor's surgery ©Hez Holland

Pictured: Daw Thein Shin at her consultation

Today, Daw Thein has her blood pressure taken. She is given medication to help with her heart and a vitamin injection, to protect her from malnutrition and make her strong.

Having her blood pressure taken ©Hez Holland

Pictured: Having her blood pressure taken

Daw Thein Shin at her consultation ©Hez Holland

Pictured: Daw Thein Shin finally gets the care that she needs

Around the world, millions of older people like Daw Thein Shin are suffering from treatable illnesses. Even the most basic healthcare can help to ease their suffering.

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