03 March 2015: Inmarsat’s satellite connectivity has helped around 25,000 Burmese refugees living in camps along the Thai-Burmese border to receive essential medical care.
Télécoms Sans Frontières (TSF), the Inmarsat-sponsored emergency telecoms non-governmental organisation (NGO), has installed a BGAN Explorer 700 terminal to provide a vital internet connection for the hospital that serves the Mae Ra Ma Lung and Mae La Oon camps.
Both camps are not covered by national telecoms infrastructures, which has hindered the day-to-day work and coordination carried out by Malteser International, the humanitarian aid NGO running the hospital.
“The connection will allow Malteser International to facilitate their operations and deliver faster, more efficient aid to the refugees,” said Alexander James Thomas, Head of Communications at TSF.
“Beyond this, the connection will also provide the basis for future projects surrounding data connectivity, notably mobile data collection and mHealth for patient follow-up and referral.”
Thousands of people have fled Myanmar across the border into Thailand to escape armed conflict and human right violations against the Karen ethnic group. The camps’ hospital provides crucial care for the refugees, reducing mortality, controlling communicable diseases and limiting the risk of epidemics and disease outbreaks.
Inmarsat supports TSF with free airtime and financial aid to restore communications after disasters and co-ordinate relief efforts by first responders.