Flashback: Rural General Practice and about Zaw One

I have crossed the Myitnge river like this, with a bicycle to continue the journey after crossing the river for house calls and for mobile clinic

1 2

Sometimes along a small stream we need to travel like this as there is no road along the bank.

The man pulls the robes of the boat along the bank of the stream. We were in the boat like this.

back Bus top

After these clinics…come back in the evening sometimes on top of the bus or at the back…standing on the footsteps…Very rarely just ride the bicycle back home for 15 miles.

Before joining the government service as a Demonstrator (now Assistant Lecturer) cum A.S. (Assistance Surgeon there but known here as MO or Medical Officer) we were allowed to do GP. I opened a clinic at my parent’s house in the evening. During the day time I opened a clinic at  class=”hiddenSpellError” pre=”at “>Myitnge Set Kwe (Myitnge Factory Corner) , about 10 miles away from Mandalay. I used to go for the house call across the river. We have to go with the bicycle and at the Myitnge River crossing; we need to put our bicycle on the boat. We don’t have any safety gear so we could not stand like this. I need to sit and hold my bicycle up-right.

I tried to open a temporary clinic at the riverbank of one tributary of Myitnge River. We need to travel  up stream with the ferry-boat tugged by the rope. One person on the river bank must pull the rope, pulling the boat along the river bank.

I took the bus to Myitnge but sometimes if I could not get the bus back, I need to pedal back on my bicycle to Mandalay for about 12 miles. But my home visit on and off according to the requests and twice a week mobile clinic was with the bicycle. The villages were as far as about 5-10 miles away from my clinic.

See this google map, The village on the “island” surrounded by Myitnge river is one of the villages I visited. Need to use the boat to cross the river during the rainny season but could just cross the naturaly formed rocky bridge during the dry season. Now after 30 years, I think I could see a man main bridge on that site. I could see a lot of improved roads in that area.

You could visualize how they pulled the boat with the rope i.e. tugging the boat by the person from the river bank by watching the YouTube videos of Zaw One, I posted below.

But you need to visualize the longer boat, and the man pulling from above the river bank. Few passangers inside but not an actress. In one place, there as a crossing ferry across the rapidly flowing river. The boat was not rowed but pulled from the banks. There was a strong roap across the river, fixed at both river banks, high above the river banks. The boat was pulled along the rope with the help of a pulley.

TQ my brother Maung Maung you used to follow me and helped. Later, after married Thida followed. Earlier our father will sometimes allowed to use his jeep and later my in-laws would allow to use their car. But we were on our own using bus, bicycles and boats most of the time.

By the way, Zaw One was a vry famous actor when we were at the high school. I liked his songs and actings more than his face. I got the message from one of my brothers that Zaw One was asking my address to come to KL. Sorry Ko Zaw One, if I know, I will definetly help you. Now it is too late.

Myanmar song, “Say Lo Ya Say” by Zaw One

Myanmar song, “Rock” by Zaw One

Actor Zaw One passes away

One Response to “Flashback: Rural General Practice and about Zaw One”

  1. Dr Ko Ko Gyi Says:

    After my Housemanship, before joing the gov. service, I opened the GP clinic in my parents’ house in 30th. street, B/W 82-83. Day time I opened the GP in Yitnge Sardoe and part-time twice a week as a mobile GP on the bicycle visiting few villages. And a part-time clinic in a Muslim village, Taung Myint, on the highway. One day (late 70’s and early 80’s during Ne Win’s time) some village council Socialist Party Cadre complaint about me. Actually put my name but attacking the Gov clinics. They said that why did Dr Ko Ko gyi’s Malaria treatment so effective and Gov clinic treatment could not cure Malaria. The Amarapura Township Medical Authorities came to my mobile/temporary clinic and ask me to renovate the clinic and apply the registration to them.
    I told them that I was just going around the villages with a bicycle to treat the patients. As I have Med Reg. called Sa Ma. I am entitled to treat any patient anywhere in Burma. I can apply for Clinic Reg but they must give me the Drug Quota for each clinic. And must take action and arrest the QUACKS going around these clinics, one of them was said to be army veteran compounder. He was going around with Motorbike and together with 2 wives. They replied that that was not their duty but Police’s duty to take action on Quacks. And they could not give drug/Medicine Quota for me as I was getting one from Mandalay, Chan Aye Tharzan.
    I asked them, sarcastically that whether I was committing an offence because I was using the latest Anti-Malaria medicine and curing the patients in-contrast to inadequate medicine in Gov clinic. I just closed down that easily visible clinic on the highway and continue with my other clinics.

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