Category Archives: Fundraising

Lifesaving Training and Resources for Myanmar Communities

GraceWorks in Myanmar is proud to partner with a Health Care Training School (HCTS) in Yangon, where students are taught basic health care. They are also trained to a level where they have the ability and resources to deliver a baby.

21 Community Health Workers Graduate

21 Community Health Workers Graduate

In late August, GraceWorks had the pleasure of celebrating the graduation of 21 Community Health Workers from the funded training school in Yangon.

At this time, we also launched the Vscan Access Ultrasound machine, a portable ultrasound machine that we believe is the first of its kind in Myanmar.

Portable ultrasound – a lifesaving resource

GraceWorks in Australia recently raised funds to purchase this portable ultrasound machine. The machine is designed by GE Healthcare to specifically meet the needs of poor and remote communities, and was purchased to complement the training carried out at HCTS and to expand on resources that are available for medical clinics.

Portable ultrasound – a lifesaving resource

Allison Swinkels, from Adelaide, is the Manager of GraceWorks’ partnership with HCTS. Allison is a qualified sonographer and will be conducting medical field trips to visit pregnant mothers within Myanmar. Allison said

“With the death rate of women in Myanmar relating to pregnancy and childbirth being the second highest in ASEAN, this portable machine will provide a lifesaving resource for under resourced communities.”

The ultrasound machine will be used during the medical field trips carried out by Allison. It will also complement the maternal health care training in the school and be used for training Community Health Workers; all of which Allison will oversee. A unique and holistic feature of the Vscan Access is the inclusion of teaching videos for pregnant women that can be played in the Burmese language. The ultimate goal is to now equip every GraceWorks community development education initiative in Myanmar with a health care worker equipped with a Vscan Access ultrasound machine.

Portable Ultrasound - A lifesaving resource.

Ultrasounds available at Maternity Health Clinics

Ultrasounds available at Maternity Health Clinics

On Saturday the 9th of September, a promotional Maternity Health Clinic was held on Seikkyi Island where pregnant women were given the opportunity to have an ultrasound for the first time, using the Vscan Access machine. Most of these women do not have the financial means to travel across the river for healthcare in downtown Yangon, which results in them not having access to an ultrasound throughout their pregnancy and limited knowledge about any problems that may exist or that could be prevented or treated.

Three newly graduated Community Healthcare Workers returned to Yangon especially to help Allison for this promotional clinic. The Healthcare workers had an opportunity to try their hand at scanning; a skill that will be taught by Allison in future training of remote and rural based graduates.

Ultrasounds available at Maternity Health Clinics

GraceWorks Maternity Health Clinics will soon be held monthly on Seikkyi Island and will offer free ultrasound scans to pregnant women. These scans will be performed by Allison with the opportunity for community healthcare students to participate.

Seikkyi Dental Program 2017

Yogamour funds community health projects through volunteer teams, and one of their projects is to bring dental care to poor, rural areas of Myanmar. The Yogamour team included Doctor Sissy Jimenez, dentist Dara Donnelly, and Rebeccah Bartlett (co-founder of Yogamour). They brought with them the expertise and equipment required to offer quality dental care – for free!


In order to meet urgent dental care needs in the communities of Seikkyi Island, just across the river from Yangon, GWM has joined forces with Yogamour, to facilitate a three-day free dental care clinic for the community members. The clinic was run in the GWM community centre in Seikkyi Island.
– Dr. Sissy Jimenez

The communities in Seikkyi island have no affordable access to  health – or dental care.

The people living there are poor, and it is too expensive for them to cross the river and pay for doctor – or dentist visits in Yangon. GWM has been working in the Seikkyi Island community since 2005, and one of our projects there has resulted in a community centre, which also functions partly as a health clinic. At the end of January, this centre hosted the three-day dental care clinic.

The dental damage of chewing Betel Nut

Dental damage of chewing Betel Nut

Dental damage of chewing Betel Nut

For Yogamour, this visit was an eye-opening experience. They have been working in Thailand and India for nearly a decade, but seldom come across such poor health conditions as they experienced in Seikkyi Island. One of the main concerns was the betel nut chewing and the damage it does to dental health.

Yogamour team

The Yogamour team interacting with the local community

Fortunately, the community was open and eager to learn, so the Yogamour team was able to hold some teaching sessions and raise awareness about the importance of oral hygiene, as well as the dangers of chewing betel nut. Of course, there is always so much more to do, but the great thing about prevention is that it can be done by anyone. It’s just a matter of spreading the right information.

Impact – 77 patients received free dental care

Doctors from Yogamour attending to patients

Doctors from Yogamour attending to patients

Altogether, in just three days, Dr. Jimenez and dentist Donnelly saw 77 patients in total – 53 adults and 22 children. They performed a total of 227 procedures, including 50 extractions with local anaesthetics, 13 fillings, 13 silver diammine fluoride treatments, and 4 antibiotic treatments for infection.

Very fruitful first collaboration with Yogamour
The first project with Yogamour has been very successful, with a large number of patients having been seen and treated within a few days. If funding allows GWM would be delighted to facilitate similar projects with Yogamour in the future.

Make a donation now!

You can donate by direct deposit:
Bank: Bendigo Bank
BSB: 633-000
Account Number: 156689036

Or cheque to:
Graceworks Myanmar Inc
P.O. Box 29, Leopold
Victoria, Australia 3324

Alternatively please complete the form available on this page, to donate.