During Raina’s seventh week in Thailand, she worked on Dengue fever prevention and took a quick trip to Ko Kret. Here are some of the highlights from the past week!

Next week is my last week at Public Health Center 21! I will be going to a private hospital next to observe their anti aging and wellness clinics. I am excited to see those.

A highlight from this week is again community health. I really enjoy going out into the community and seeing a “non touristy” side of Bangkok. On these community outings I can really see health care implementation on a grassroots level. During this trip we were working on Dengue fever prevention and rabies vaccinations. The goal was to provide mosquito repellent, educational fliers about Dengue prevention and remove stagnant water sites. The first house we went to had a case of Dengue. I never saw the person, but in front of the house you can see these planters are full of stagnant water…the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes! I found it interesting that non of the nurses seemed to be concerned about getting bit, just me the worrisome farang.  I asked our head nurse PiChu if Vanessa and I should be wearing bug spray. She laughed and slapped her arm indicating how we should respond if we see a mosquito biting us. Vanessa and I looked at each other with the same thought  and we immediately put the repellent on. PiChu and the other nurses starting laughing at our reaction and it became an ongoing joke for the rest of the trip.

After leaving this house we went to another part of the neighborhood. Winding through a maze of garbage, clothes and residents cooking we overturned any container containing water. We also sprinkled a powder (meant to kill mosquito larvae) in areas we couldn’t overturn the containers. After educating and getting rid of ALL of the potential mosquito home, we went to an area where there was 1 case of rabies (12 year old boy in the hospital). 15 of the community members in this area came to our makeshift vaccination site. There were a number of young boys. I was impressed with how brave they were when getting their shots!

Vanessa and I also got to shadow the acupuncturist doctor this week. She specialized in treating skin problems (dermatology). The doctor was interesting; she reminded me of a typical American worker actually. She was very fast paced, always multitasking and speaking quickly. It’s different from what I’ve seen with the other Thai doctors and nurses. She would play calming music on YouTube while a patient was getting their treatment for 20 minutes. While they were resting, she would see the next patient. I found it interesting that in America we are so conscious and aware of HIPPA and patient privacy. Here, patients seem to have no problem discussing their concerns with other patients around. It could also be because they’re used to not having that luxury when living in such a populated place.

This weekend was a lot of fun. I went with some of my roomies to Ko Kret. This man-made island in northern Bangkok is a peaceful sanctuary from the concrete jungle. The island was surround by greenery and the locals were very friendly. It was so nice to have a breath of fresh air. We were able to ride bikes around the whole island and go through the local market. The market is known for delicious Thai desserts. They usually have some version of coconut in them…Yum! Mixed in between the dessert and seafood booths there were also vendors selling handmade turmeric soaps, herbal salves and coconut shell planters. I was loving it! The bike path has big drop offs on both sides so you have to pay attention steering. This was difficult with how old/rusted the bikes were AND the fact that you had to dodge pedestrians, animals and other motorbikes. Talk about defensive driving!

Sunday was international yoga day. Waking up at 5:30 to make it to the 7am yoga class was kind of a struggle, but worth it! The instructor was from India and at least a couple hundred people of all ages and fitness levels showed up. We each got a complimentary t-shirt, mat, and water. I found the practice to be really relaxing! We did a number of different poses that the teacher explained were beneficial for diabetes and hypertension. It’s sad these conditions are on the rise over here. I can’t help but think it is related to western influence (sedentary lifestyle habits and access to more processed foods). My roommate Hannah and I wore our shirts for the rest of the day and people kept coming up to us saying “yoga!” pointing to their matching shirts or giving us a smile. It was kind of funny and sweet. Good karma!

Side note: When commuting headphones and a mask are a must! And you look cool of course ?


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Posted by World Endeavors on    June 27, 2018

Put yourself out there! TM

World Endeavors believes that international travel has the power to change lives, broaden horizons, and deepen intercultural understanding. The world is undergoing rapid changes, with societies becoming more interconnected and environmentally aware; at the same time a more challenging global economy inspires in many a need to reach out and make a positive difference while seeking personal growth opportunities. There has never been a better time than now to travel abroad.