Three Children in Same Hsipaw Family Die of Mystery Illness Within One Week

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Three children in a family in northern Shan State’s Hsipaw Township have died within the last week and doctors cannot yet explain why.

A health team and Hsipaw based Volunteers Without Borders group went to pick up the four family member at Pan Tee Village 11 May 2020 Photo by Shar Htet Paing
A health team and Hsipaw based Volunteers Without Borders group went to pick up the four family member at Pan Tee Village 11 May 2020 (Photo – Shar Htet Paing)

The family of 11 people live in Pan Tee village in Mong La village tract. The children who died were 16, eight, and one-and-a-half years old, according to Dr. Nanda Win, the head of Hsipaw’s public hospital. The doctor added that four more members of the family have been admitted to Hsipaw hospital for observation. Their symptoms were not disclosed at the time of reporting.

“We still don’t know what caused the situation,” he said.

It is unknown if the current COVID-19 pandemic is to blame, or if the children contracted another illness. The Shan village of Pan Tee, located around 50 miles southeast of Hsipaw town, is among the many ethnic communities throughout Burma that have little to no access to basic health services.

A health team and a local volunteer group went to pick up the four family members on Monday.

“Our group and medical staff went to check on the remaining family members. We have yet to know what happened,” Ko Myo, who works with the Hsipaw-based Volunteers Without Borders group said.

Dr. Nanda Win posted on Facebook that the medical team was on its way to the village, where he pointed out that many residents do not have access to vaccines. The government would try to provide health services to the area in the future, he wrote.

In its last major assessment of world health systems by the World Health Organizations, Burma’s was ranked as among the worst performing health infrastructures in the world.

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