Burmese women along the Thai-Burma border face enormous risks in having children: the vast majority are anemic and deliver their babies without trained assistance or access to emergency obstetric services. Nearly 1% of pregnancies result in maternal death, mostly from bleeding after delivery or infection — one of the highest rates of maternal mortality in the world.
The Thai-Burma border is often described as an "epicenter" of drug-resistant malaria. Malaria prevalence (the proportion of the population with the disease at any time) among internally displaced people in eastern Burma is up to twenty times higher than across the border in Thailand.
In addition to recording the second most malaria deaths of any country in Southeast Asia, Burma / Myanmar has historically been a regional epicenter of spreading resistance to vital anti-malarial drugs. The situation is worst in ethnic areas in the eastern, western and northern border regions, which receive little or no government health services and are inaccessible to large-scale international efforts.
Safe births, children who have essential immunizations and enough to eat, prevention and treatment of infectious disease, community health education — these are the foundations for healthy, vigorous communities.