Student Portrait

I am Wah Wah from Burma Medical Association (BMA). I was born in Kaw Karate, Karen State, Myanmar. Currently there are four members in my family: my father and mother, one younger sister, and me. In the past, I had three younger sisters.

After finishing my primary school in Kaw Karate, my family moved to Yangon. In 2003, I graduated from Yangon University of Foreign Languages with a degree in Korean language.

In 2003, I found out that my sister had an infectious disease. I was shocked at the time; I did not know how to support her physically or emotionally. Through this experience, I heard about Mae Tao Clinic (MTC) and learned that MTC provides free health care services for people from Burma.

Two years later, I left for MTC to study primary healthcare and help people from Burma. I volunteered at the Child Outpatient Department, where I conducted school health visits, led workshops on nutrition, and assisted the senior medics.

In 2005, when I first arrived at MTC, I visited migrant schools in Mae Sot to distribute vitamin A and deworming medication and provided general health education. As a result of the school visits, I saw the health needs of migrant children in the Mae Sot community. This taught me that preventing infectious diseases is the most important thing for every child.

I conducted school health visits twice a year. During the other months, I helped as an assistant to senior medics, and after one year I went to the Community Health Worker Training at Nu Poh Camp. When I returned from Nu Poh Camp, I began working in the in-patient department of MTC. There I saw thousands of patients who suffered from malaria and other infectious diseases.

 About Wah Wah

  • Age: 41
  • Ethnicity: Karen
  • Country: Myanmar

 School & Program

  • Khon Kaen University
  • Master’s, Public Health
  • Graduated

Goals & Dreams

  • Promote primary healthcare in the community
  • Improve health policy in Myanmar

 Loan Details

  • Loan Amount: $4,125
  • Amount Left To Fund: $0
  • Contract Duration: 12 years
  • Status: Repaid in Full


What Others Are Saying About Wah Wah

In 2010, I began working as a program manager at the Burma Medical Association (BMA)’s Communicable Disease Control program (CDC). This included malaria control, school health, infection prevention, solar panels, and environmental health. BMA CDC program works with five ethnic health department: Karen, Kayan, Karenni, Mon, and Shan. The eastern Burma situation is still insecure and unstable, so we can’t work as we’d like. We do as much as we can from the Thai-Burma border.

Today our organization is also trying to support ethnic health departments to improve their own programs and trainings. The goal is to improve Burma’s health policy and support technical things for the ethnic health departments.
If I have the chance to change anything in Burma, I want to change its healthcare and education system. I want to promote primary healthcare among the community.

Written by Wah Wah with editing assistance from Zomia’s volunteer editors.

Wah Wah

Wah Wah

“My experience working with sanitation and clean water efforts for internally displaced people in rural areas has shown me how preventive measures can make a big difference in the health of communities.”

Q&A With Wah Wah

Survey Fun

What’s the best meal you’ve ever had?
What is/was your favorite subject in school?
Occupational Health
Where do you see yourself in 20 years?
Working in my community
What is the one thing that isn’t taught in school but should be?
Environmental Health
How would your friends describe you?
I am friendly and supportive
What is your favorite memory?
Working at Mae Tao Clinic as a medic
What skill or ability do you most wish you had (but lack today)?