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Why were we there?

  • Endemic/epidemic disease
  • Healthcare exclusion

Our Work

  • It has proved impossible to obtain permission to offer medical attention to undocumented migrants and vulnerable people who are not entitled to basic healthcare. In September, Médecins Sans Frontières came to the conclusion that there was no choice but to close its longest-running mission, which started with the provision of assistance to Cambodian refugees fleeing the Khmer regime in 1976.


Introduction of free HIV ARV treatment

  • In the 1980s, Médecins Sans Frontières supported refugees from Myanmar, and since the mid-1990s, it has played a key role in providing and advocating comprehensive care and treatment for people living with HIV.
  • Thailand was one of the first countries to introduce free antiretroviral treatment for HIV patients.
  • In the past decade, Médecins Sans Frontières has responded mainly to emergencies and offered healthcare to Hmong refugees from Laos.


Three Pagodas Pass

  • Early in 2011, Médecins Sans Frontières was forced to close its programmes in the central industrial zone of Samut Sakhon and in the Three Pagodas Pass, on the border with Myanmar, depriving 55,000 vulnerable people of access to healthcare.
  • In the Three Pagodas Pass area, Médecins Sans Frontières had been operating a mobile clinic, providing basic medical services. Staff carried out 795 antenatal consultations, referring pregnant women to Ministry of Health hospitals for delivery. Some 4,200 people received general health education.
  • At the Médecins Sans Frontières clinic in Samut Sakhon province, where thousands of undocumented migrants live and work, staff conducted more than 1,380 medical consultations. Over 4,200 people attended health education sessions.


Mae Hong Son

  • In Mae Hong Son, in the north of Thailand, Médecins Sans Frontières staff trained ‘backpackers’ to work as mobile medical teams in the Myanmar–Thailand border area.
  • In 2011, more than 48,470 medical consultations and almost 1,590 antenatal care consultations were carried out by these mobile teams. In the same period, staff assisted some 420 births and distributed more than 6,750 mosquito nets.


Thai floods

  • The monsoon season began at the end of July and caused severe flooding in northern, northeastern and central Thailand. In October 2011, floodwaters reached the mouth of the Chao Phraya river, and inundated parts of the capital city, Bangkok. 
  • Médecins Sans Frontières teams supplied 66,000 people with relief items – mainly food, water and mosquito nets – and carried out more than 1,400 medical consultations in the most affected areas of Sukhothai, Phitsanulok, Phichit and Kamphaeng-Phet provinces.


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Médecins Sans Frontières worked in the country from 1976 to 2011.