“Someday I drive 60 kilometers to work in the community”
Matcharin Songpan (also known as Kung) is a field officer of the Raks Thai Foundation. She has been working in the malaria project for more than 7 years. She also supports HIV patients and the risk population. Her work area covers Khun Han, Kantalarak, and Phusing district of Srisaket province, which are along the border between Thailand and Cambodia. She usually travels 30 kilometers on average across the district from place to place and provides malaria services to villagers.
“We work along the border, near the forest area. The road is not that rough but the distances are far, some days I drive 60 kilometers to cover all my areas.”
The villagers know her as a person to contact when they have a fever or any malaria symptoms. Matcharin’s main mission in the community is to build and maintain trust with the patient and support strengthening the health system narrowing the gap between patient and service providers. She visits every malaria-risk village in 3 districts of Srisaket.
“Some of the patients that we have reached in the past have no malaria symptoms, but during the proactive test, we found malaria positive. The frequency of visits is also key to our outreach mission to eliminate malaria form those risk areas.”