As we reflect on the accomplishments of the B.K. Kee Patient House during Rotary Year 2022-2023, we celebrate the tremendous strides made in enhancing care and support for patients in need.
The Burma Children Medical Fund B.K. Kee Patient provides shelter, food, and support for patients whose medical conditions require more care than the Mae Tao Clinic in Mae Sot, Tak, can provide. Patients and caregivers spend anywhere from a week to a month at the house, with many returning regularly for follow-up treatment at local hospitals.
CMIRC support for the house began in the fall of 2015 when we donated 10,000 baht to repair the storage room ceiling. Since then, members have visited hundreds of patients and caregivers on a weekly basis. Last year, due to COVID-19, there have been significantly less new patients at the house and very few patients leaving. However, in the past few months, we have seen some long-term folks finally return home and the arrival of many new patients.
Our primary goal is to make life easier and more comfortable for the patients and caregivers who stay at the house. This year, we have added several household improvement projects at the direction of senior CMIRC leadership in conjunction with BCMF staff.
Accomplishments in Rotary Year 2022-2023
Purchase of four torches for emergencies. (Donated by Rotarian Bill Pierce.)
Making the library more accessible, upgrading the network, and providing a set-top box for Burmese education, router, and cabling to expand access. (฿20,000 was budgeted. All was accomplished via donations.)
Purchase and installation of ceiling fans for each room of the house.
Purchase of security lights in case of an electrical outage.
Purchase of a projector. (Donated by CMIRC.)
A new "sala" was added to the grounds to replace the ageing garden pavilion.
Purchase of a vehicle for patient transport to and from the hospital. (It was a future goal, but we accomplished it this year with funds from the CMIRC Bob Carroll Memorial Fund.)
Future Goals For Rotary Year 2023-2024
To improve safety and provide a secure physical environment at the B.K. Kee Patient House. In addition, to improve the environment making it healthier and more pleasant for patients.
To provide emotional support by making visits every other week, engaging with patients and providing stimulating activities for patients to participate in.
To provide educational support to younger patients along with our partners in education.
Plastering and painting exterior sections of the house.
Investigating outdoor exercise equipment to assist patients needing physical therapy and for general exercise purposes.
May 2023 Visit
During our visit on May 6, I brought extra toothpaste, as requested by BCMF employee, Klao. We regularly provide sanitary supplies and toiletries for the house. Rotarian Raphael Djemal and I were warmly welcomed. Klao was away at the hospital with a patient for an MRI. We had some English language exchange and played Bingo, which everyone enjoyed. We gave away plenty of treats.
On our second visit on the 20th, Rotarian Bill Pierce joined Raphael and me. Bill helped organize a lively game called "B.K. Kee's Got Talent!" He always does a great job, and patients love him. Diana (photographed wearing a mustard yellow T-shirt) explained to the residents what the game entailed. The game started off slowly. While the music was playing, a ball passed around in the circle. Once the music stopped, the lucky winner decided whether they wanted to sing, dance or do a short English practice. At first, most were shy and asked for an English task. However, they gradually warmed up, and by the second game, everybody was performing enthusiastically! I do not know who had more fun: the patients, the caregivers or us!