Background to Ba Mak:
Ba Mak is home to about 700 people including approximately 200 children. Electricity is not widely available and most villagers use candles. The sources of income range from coffee selling to basket weaving and work in local rice plantations. Jungle Aid has been supporting Ba Mak for 5 years. We have held regular medical clinics, supported hospital visits, supported children to go to school (transportation fees etc.), provided clothes, shoes and stationery etc.
Trip to Ba Mak:
Our eight volunteers met at 7am at Market Village and after quick introductions, we left for Ba Mak in a couple of pickup trucks one kindly lent to Jungle Aid by Dave of Hua Hin Car Hire. After nearly three hours of scenic but challenging off-road driving, and a couple of wrong turns we arrived at the village. The team were met by Pau Eh Eh the community leader and Nung, her deputy
The first item on the agenda was to demonstrate good personal hygiene to the children and adults who had gathered. Many of the skin, intestinal and respiratory infections we see in the clinics can be prevented by thorough and frequent hand washing. So our translator Yui and Pau Eh Eh demonstrated good hand washing practice using a poster that our driver/photographer and artist Garry had produced and which we left with them along with donated soap.
Our medical clinic was up and running soon after arriving. Doctor Gerard and his wife Elmi were supported by translator Thu. They saw 29 patients over three hours. A couple of serious cases were identified for hospital attention; a patient with liver disease and one with a hernia. Many cases of infectious disease and less urgent illnesses were treated on site. Meanwhile the assessment team of Garry, Andy, Dave and Keith were taken around the community by Pau Eh Eh to meet members of the water committee, a teacher, soldiers from a nearby camp and several other residents to understand the latest status of the village and its most important needs. It was confirmed that the cold season and high elevation meant that many people were struggling at night with cold and were lighting fires to keep warm which was causing respiratory problems. We were already loaded up with 30
donated blankets to counter this problem, which we distributed along with 30 mosquito nets to combat malaria and dengue. We also distributed 10 donated solar lights since most houses do not have electricity and rely on candles, which are a fire risk in a bamboo hut.
It was explained that sanitation is an issue in the village. Though there are two small public toilet blocks these are not popular because of cleaning issues and the fact that water is not piped to them. One of the United Nations sustainable development goals is that all houses in developing countries and communities should have their own toilet by 2020, but Ba Mak is far from achieving this. Open defecation is a leading root cause of ill health. One piece of good news for Ba Mak is that they have been promised an on-site doctor and access to freshwater by the local authority within the next month or so. However some villagers remain skeptical about this and we will continue to monitor the situation in case there are delays or misunderstandings. We asked Pau Eh Eh to update us on how these matters are progressing.
We also asked her to ask people at the next village meeting whether they wanted us to organise for stray dogs in the village to be spayed. Additionally we received a request to sponsor a young woman from one of the poorer families to study a healthcare course so we will interview her and her family next time. After handing over donated clothes, toothbrushes and toothpaste and educational toys we headed back to Hua Hin. After an amazing day with incredible volunteers and incredible people we work with we headed home.
Thank you for supporting the work we do!
If you are interested in joining us on a trip please sign up on the Jungle Aid Meetup website at You will see that places are limited so it is better to sign up earlier.
We have many volunteer roles available, some require technical skills but others require mainly passion and enthusiasm. If you have skills in the following or know someone who does, Jungle Aid would be very keen to hear:
  • Website designer
  • Project manager
  • Ophthalmologist, Dentist, Nutritionist
  • Water engineer

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