Fire safety training at Mae Tao Clinic.

The Mae Tao Clinic (MTC) in Mae Sot, a Thai city bordering Myanmar, is a crucial provider of healthcare services for refugees and migrants from Myanmar. In these challenging times, their work is more vital than ever. 

Check a MTC video on refugees’ human rights

A growing crisis 

Since the 2021 coup in Myanmar, over 2.8 million people have been displaced, with at least 45,000 seeking refuge in Thailand. The Myanmar military junta’s recent decision to impose conscription on young people is driving even more people to flee.

In 2023, MTC saw a significant increase in patient visits, with daily numbers rising by 100-150 due to: 

  • A growing migrant population in Mae Sot 
  • Increased injuries and illnesses from conflict and displacement 
  • The deterioration of healthcare services in Myanmar 

Meeting the challenge 

The patient surge has placed additional strain on MTC’s staff and resources. To ensure everyone’s safety, MTC’s Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Committee —comprising dedicated members from each department— monitors and enforces OHS policies. They meet monthly to review safety protocols, identify maintenance needs, and plan training and safety supply requirements. 

Recent OHS improvements 

To better manage the growing caseload, MTC has implemented several key improvements:

Installation of a wall fan in the MTC education centre to prevent heat exhaustion.

  • Loudspeakers: Installed to allow patients to wait comfortably until called. 
  • Radio Communication: Enhanced devices for efficient communication between OHS key contacts and the security team. 

Addressing trauma and mental health 

The coup has also led to an increase in patients with trauma and mental health needs. To better support these patients, MTC has provided: 

  • Emergency mental health training for clinical staff 
  • Mental health and psychosocial support training for regular volunteers 

Key activities  

Here’s what MTC has been up in the last 6 months, with our support:

MTC staff in traffic safety training

  • Safety Training: Staff received comprehensive training on fire safety, traffic safety, and drug and alcohol awareness. 
  • Food Safety: Developed and implemented a new food safety policy for the clinic kitchen. 
  • Disease Prevention: Screened and vaccinated patients against communicable diseases. 
  • Facility Enhancements: 
  • Installed anti-slip mats in bathrooms 
  • Purchased a waste collection trolley to prevent heavy lifting 
  • Installed solar lights in high foot-traffic areas to prevent nighttime trips 
  • Replaced water filters in drinking water tanks

These improvements are part of MTC’s commitment to providing safe and effective care. Thanks to the support from Union Aid Abroad – APHEDA and the Brennan Foundation, MTC is making significant strides in enhancing its OHS standards. 

Join us 

Thank you for being a part of our community and helping us continue our critical work with our partner organisation, the Mae Tao Clinic. If you are not an APHEDA member yet, stay updated on our journey and join us to strengthen the health and safety of refugees at MTC. Together, we can make a difference! 


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