Bei Cho Tha was born in a small village in the remote region of Chin State, in the west of Myanmar, in 1991. He was the second son, born into a large family with a teacher father whose job led the family to relocate from a small rural village to Hakha, the capital of Chin State. Living off the government-assigned salary of a teacher was difficult for a large family and Bei Cho Tha worked in his school holidays to supplement the family income. Growing up in such a remote area, in one of the poorest regions of Myanmar, Bei Cho Tha identified some of the issues facing people who lived there:
“Many people are left without any help in the medical area, it is a big barrier when treatment is received from a person or doctor who speaks languages other than their language. They urgently need a doctor who is from their native place.”
Realising this, Bei Cho Tha decided that he wanted to become a doctor, and serve his native community.
Prospect Burma has supported Bei Cho Tha since 2010/11 when we sponsored his English language training at the British Council in Yangon. When he successfully completed this course, he applied to us for funding to undertake a PhD in medical sciences at Bicon Christian University in the Philippines, to help him attain his ambition of becoming a doctor. In the middle of his studies in 2013 his university was affected by Typhoon Hayian, one of the most powerful tropical cyclones ever recorded, but the worst of the storm missed their location and he was able to complete the semester.
He has spent the last year of his studies undertaking clinical work at the Emilio Aguinaldo College Medical Center Hospital in Cavite City. He successfully completed undergraduate medical degrees and clinical studies in the Philippines, and at the end of the 2017/18 academic year completed his clinical internship. He has now returned to Lailenpi township, the isolated area of western Chin State where he was born and where he is now working in a community clinic. This will enable Bei Cho Tha to complete his local medical registration and ensure his international qualification is recognised in Myanmar. In addition to his clinical work, Bei Cho Tha is volunteering in local schools, supporting and mentoring 10th grade science students.
Bei Cho Tha told us:
“I would like to express my highest gratitude to Prospect Burma. I truly believe that without you I can’t be able to get the position as today.”