Asian Review

Publication Date



Over the past two decades, communities in the border areas of Tak Province, Thailand, and in neighboring districts of Myanmar, have established a primary healthcare system. Conflict, displacement and institutional neglect have left this region of Eastern Myanmar without functioning public health services. Forced displacement and statelessness excluded these same communities from health services in Thailand. This paper presents two short case studies that describe how the network prioritizes access to basic care at the village level, with ethnic and community organizations training village health workers to provide health education and to manage common diseases. More serious cases are referred to a network of field and community clinics, and to hospitals on both sides of the Thai-Myanmar border. This latter engagement with government hospitals in Thailand demonstrates an enabling policy environment that develops the adaptive capacity of migrants, rather than regulation that focuses on threat and victimhood. This paper concludes that this kind of approach can provide a future blueprint to guide early engagement between the community health system and national health system reform in Myanmar.



First Page


Last Page


Included in

Asian Studies Commons



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.