Traditional Karen Don Dance
SMRU Celebrates 30 Year Anniversary

SMRU Celebrates 30 Year Anniversary

From December 12th through the 14th SMRU celebrated its 30th anniversary at Wattana Village Resort, on the outskirts of Maesot town in Tak Province, Thailand. The celebration consisted of sports events, theatre performances, dances, games, information booths, a photo exhibition and a seminar.


The seminar, "Health Care in a Changing National Landscape", focused on malaria, maternal and child health and TB/HIV in Kayin State, Myanmar and along the Thailand-Myanmar border in general. It was an opportunity to reflect, and to look forward, on these important issues at a crucial time in the history of the unit.

Image: Professor Francois Nosten and Martin Smith lead a panel discussion at the Health Care in a Changing National Landscape Seminar in Mae Sot, Thailand
Professor Francois Nosten and Martin Smith lead a panel discussion at the Health Care in a Changing National Landscape Seminar in Mae Sot, Thailand

Image: Seminar participants Dr Cynthia Maung and Blooming Night
Seminar participants Dr Cynthia Maung, Blooming Night

Image: Seminar participant Dr. Rony Brauman
Seminar participant Dr. Rony Brauman (Right)

Speakers included the following personalities:

  • Dr. Rony Brauman: Director of Research at the Doctors Without Borders Foundation, Associate Professor at Sciences Po (Paris)
  • Donna Guest: Institute for Business and Human Rights, formerly Amnesty International
  • Martin Smith: Independent Analyst, former Independent Expert member of the Three Diseases Fund board
  • Ashley South: Independent Analyst (Chiang Mai University), formerly at the Myanmar Peace Support Initiative and Border Consortium
  • Dr. Cynthia Maung: Founder of Mae Tao Clinic, Ramon Magsaysay Award winner
  • Lahpai Seng Raw: Founder of Metta Development Foundation, Ramon Magsaysay Award winner
  • Naw Ta Mla Saw: Join Secretary One, Karen Women Organization
  • Decha Tangseefa: Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Political Science, Thammasat University, Thailand
  • Dr. Ric Price: Professor of Global Health at the Menzies School of Health Research (Australia), Professor of Tropical Medicine at the Centre of Tropical Medicine, University of Oxford, UK
  • Dr. Arjen Dondorp: Professor of Medicine at Oxford University, Director of the Malaria Group at the Mahidol-Oxford University Research Unit in Bangkok
  • Dr. Nick White: Professor of Medicine at Oxford University, Chairman of the Wellcome Trust Major Overseas Programs in South East Asia
  • Dr Thazin Nyunt: Member of OG Society in Maternal and Reproductive Health in Myanmar
  • Dr. Win Maung: Former Director of Disease Control, Department of Health, and WHO counselor at NTP in Myanmar
  • Daw Mya Thet Su Maw: Health Advisor, Department for International Development
  • Dr. Kyaw Nyunt Sein: Senior National Advisor, Three Millennium Development Goals Fund
  • Nang Mo Kham: Human Development Specialist, World Bank

The seminar was translated into English, Thai, Burmese and Karen languages. A report summarizing the main conclusions and points of discussion can be viewed here: Myanmar: Health Care in a Changing National Landscape – Lessons, Challenges and Aspirations on the Way Forward.

Photo Exhibition & Fundraiser

The photo exhibition featured artwork by local and international artists. Photos were of local communities, community members, SMRU staff, and patients. Over 200,000 baht was raised from the exhibition and the selling of commemorative items. Money raised was donated to help fund the building of the new Maternal Health clinic in Mae Salit, in Karen state.

Image: Photo Exhibition Artist Pearl Gan
Photo Exhibition Artist Pearl Gan

Image: Photo Exhibition
SMRU Photo Exhibition

Sports Competitions

The sports competitions included football, rattan ball and volley ball with a total of 110 total participants. Competitions began on the 26th of November at WPA clinic and Koko football ground and continued over the following 4 weekends until the final match. Winners of the volley ball tournaments were the Mae Sot team for males (3-1) and WPA team for females (3-2). The Mae La team won the rattan ball tournament (2-0) and the TB team won the football tournament (9-8).

Image: Mens Volleyball
Men's Volleyball

Image: SMRU Men's Football
Men's Football

Fishy Clouds Theatre Performance

The Bangkok-based B-floor Theatre group also participated, putting on a puppet show performance "Fishy Clouds" about antimicrobrial drug resistance to appreciative audiences in Mae Sot on the 12th of December and in Wang Pha and Mawker Tai clinics on the 13th and 14th. The group is funded by the Wellcome Trust as part of MORU's Public Engagement activities to make science more accessible to a wider audience, including children.

Image: Fishy Clouds Puppet Show
Fishy Clouds Puppet Show

Image: SMRU staff with Fishy Clouds Puppet Show
SMRU staff with Fishy Clouds Puppet Show

Video of "Fishy Clouds" puppet theatre performance, including interview with SMRU Clinical Researcher, Cindy Chu

Dances, Games & Information Booths

Guests participated in educational games and visited information booths to learn about the activities carried out by SMRU. They were also entertained by traditional Karen and Thai dances, music, videos and singing.

Image: SMRU staff participate in games
SMRU staff and guests participate in games

Image: Tuberculosis Program Information Booth
Tuberculosis Program Information Booth

Image: Traditional Karen Don Dance
Traditional Karen Don Dance

Image: SMRU staff and guests
SMRU staff and guests

Image: SMRU Staff: May Myo, Jordi Landier and Moh Doh
SMRU Staff: May Myo, Jordi Landier and Moh Doh

Overall there were 417 guests and participants from MORU and OTN, Non-Government Organizations (NGOs), Community Based Organizations (CBOs), Public health officials from Thailand and Myanmar, invited speakers and SMRU staff at the celebration.

SMRU would like to thank Mahidol and Oxford Universities, MORU, The Wellcome Trust, as well as all supporters and team members who made this wonderful celebration possible. We also look forward to many more years of providing health services along this consistently changing border landscape.


View more photos from SMRU's 30 Year Anniversary Celebration


All photos © Hsa Dah and Suphak Nosten



Shoklo Malaria Research Unit
68/30 Bantung Road, PO Box 46
Mae Sot, Tak 63110 Thailand

Tel: +66 (0) 55 532 026
       +66 (0) 55 532 028
Fax: +66 (0) 55 532 027
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