Refugee doctor receives human rights award

Refugee doctor receives human rights award

BANGKOK — Cynthia Maung, a doctor who has spent nearly 30 years treating refugees who fled “oppression and repression in Myanmar,” was presented with the 2017 Baptist World Alliance (BWA) Denton and Janice Lotz Human Rights Award during the global organization’s Annual Gathering in Bangkok, Thailand, on July 5.

Maung was hailed as a “woman of faith” who “draws heavily on her Baptist heritage,” committing herself “selflessly to the welfare of the poor and oppressed,” according to BWA.

In 1989 she and six volunteers established the Mae Tao Medical Clinic in a dilapidated building in Mae Sot, which lies on the border of Myanmar and Thailand. The clinic, which has since moved to a more secure location, has grown to more than 600 staff treating up to 150,000 patients per year, including locals, migrant workers and refugees.

Maung and her staff helped to bring a malaria epidemic under control and treat outbreaks of pneumonia and other diseases. They often tend to trauma victims of gunshots and landmines and offer maternity care and HIV counseling.

Maung was named one of Time magazine’s Asian Heroes in 2003. (BWA)