A helping hand for essential healthcare: The Nadia and Alf Taylor Foundation supports SUSTAIN Projects Myanmar
posted on 21 October, 2021 by Teri Johnson - US Board Director, The Nadia & Alf Taylor Foundation AND Vice President-North America
The Nadia and Alf Taylor Foundation‘s mission is to ensure every individual has access to the resources they need to fulfil their potential. Driven by this aim, we recently helped finance fundamental healthcare initiatives for SUSTAIN Projects Myanmar – a charity that supports the training and recruitment of medical staff to serve some of the most deprived communities in the Kyaukki region of Myanmar.
Earlier this year, with the help of funding from the Foundation, the charity was able to invest in a critical piece of equipment that will serve the local area for generations to come – keep reading for the full story!
The ultra-sound of success
For years, the remote jungle clinic in Kyaukki, run by SUSTAIN Projects Myanmar, has had to make do with very limited medical equipment. In fact, the medical team were lacking any form of machinery to enable pregnancy scans. To support with this, the Nadia and Alf Taylor Foundation funded the purchase of a new ultrasound machine.
Upon its delivery in July 2021, this critical piece of equipment was immediately put to work – ensuring the safety of mothers and their babies and allowing expectant parents to see their little ones for the first time. The machine was first used by sonographer Lay Lay Poe, a recent graduate of a 5-year Physician’s Assistant training programme. During the final year of her studies, Lay Lay Poe had been personally trained to use the ultrasound machine by SUSTAIN Project Myanmar’s resident Midwife Monica Parker, in the hope that the service would soon be available at the jungle clinic.
Finally made possible by the Foundation’s recent investment, the screenings have already proven to be an immense success, with the antenatal clinic in Kyaukkyi performing an average of over 150 ultrasounds each month!
Putting the freeze on preventable disease
The provision of a new ultrasound machine wasn’t the first time seemingly simple interventions by The Nadia and Alf Taylor Foundation have had a big impact on deprived communities in Myanmar. At the start of this year, the Foundation purchased a refrigerator for the isolated jungle clinic – complete with a solar panel system to power it sustainably – enabling the safe and reliable storage of vaccines. Since its delivery, six mothers and 23 family members have been immunised against the potentially life-threatening virus, Hepatitis B – an amazing achievement made possible by the Foundation’s investment.
Joy Dyer, National Administrator, SUSTAIN Projects Myanmar, sees the partnership with the Foundation as a major step forward for the charity: “tna solutions and the Nadia and Alf Taylor Foundation are significant and generous partners for our healthcare project in Karen State, Myanmar. Over the years, their support has contributed to the training of physician assistants and midwives who, once qualified, serve in remote communities. The Foundation has also funded antenatal care at the training centre and provided diagnostic and teaching equipment. We are extremely grateful for the opportunity to partner with them in addressing the inequalities surrounding healthcare in Myanmar.”
“The Foundation is incredibly proud of the benefits its partnership with SUSTAIN Projects Myanmar has already brought to mothers and families in Kyaukkyi,” comments Nadia Taylor, Managing Director & CEO at tna solutions and Founding Director of The Nadia and Alf Taylor Foundation. “Now, we’re looking ahead to new initiatives that will help the charity weather the challenges brought on by the pandemic, and beyond.”
Financing fundamental healthcare
SUSTAIN Projects Myanmar was initially founded in 2005 to support the training and recruitment of medical staff to serve the Kyaukkyi region of Myanmar. Divided by decades of civil war, many towns and villages in this area were severely impoverished, lacking access to basic healthcare equipment or even a consistent electricity supply. Amid continuing unrest, SUSTAIN Projects Myanmar successfully established the Ther Ray-Dau Pae Clinic, which now provides life-saving care to more than 11,000 people every year, including 1,500 pregnant women, 250 of whom require specialist care.
While it remains dedicated to its mission, operating in a conflict-ridden environment on a limited budget has been extremely challenging for the organisation and its staff – and that’s where the Nadia and Alf Taylor Foundation stepped in.
To help SUSTAIN Projects Myanmar expand its vital operations, the Nadia & Alf Foundation has funded the recruitment of four doctors and six operational staff members, in addition to supporting 16 medical students through their training to become doctors, nurses and midwives – to date. In addition, the Foundation has helped the charity purchase essential equipment and medical supplies to help staff provide a full range of services.
Click here to find out more about the Nadia and Alf Taylor Foundation and how you can help it support more life-saving projects.