The following is a list of medical care consumables that are difficult to find. Some of these items will be given out through our informal Akha clinic, and also some items we have found help us physically as we live and work in Thailand. It is difficult for the Akha to get good medical care in Thailand due to the fact that many of them do not have citizenship and the privileges that come with it, and so what began as a simple distribution of Paracetomol for aches and pains has grown into a free mobile clinic where we can distribute medicines for many problems (thanks also to the spectacular book Where there is No Doctor : a guide to village medicine). It has been a real blessing to be able to be an sympathetic ear to the physical needs of the Akha.
We were able to purchase a shopping bag full of medicine for US$25 here. Health care can be expensive for the Akha who have no coverage, but medicine is very cheap. We have, however, found that some items are hard to find or are of poor quality here. As we have been treating scrapes and sickness and have been traveling often we have compiled a list of items that are a blessing to receive.
- Itch cream - We see many rashes in the village and topical itch relief is really appreciated. The brand doesn't matter, any tube that has the active ingredient diphenhydramine will work fine.
- Fabric Band-Aids - when you put band-aids on village kids, you have to use the best. Plastic just doesn't cut it, fabric is the only thing you can hope will last even half a day. Unique sizes and shapes are preferred (knuckles, large bandages, etc). The brand doesn't matter, but make sure they are fabric.
- EmergenC - We go through these pretty quickly. They help fight colds, help while travelling and are a good natural energy boost. The cranberry flavor is especially good for Lori, but any flavor is fine.
- Chloraseptic Gargle - one of the major problems we run into in the village is abscessed teeth. We have developed a cleaning / treatment method which includes a rinse, a gargle and an antibiotic for the infection. We can use a Hydrogen Peroxide gargle, but the anesthetic and taste of the Chloraseptic makes the process just a little more bearable for the kids.
- AntiBiotic Ointment - Infection can be a real problem. Even if a wound is bandaged, it can become infected without the application of antibiotic ointment. Once again, the brand doesn't matter, any Neosporin equivalent is fine.