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Reference : V-P-MM-E-00473
Date : 19/01/2022
Country/Region : MYANMAR
Caption : Rakhine State, Maungdaw. This woman lost her leg as a result of an injury and a complication from diabetes. Thanks to the new prosthesis she received from the ICRC and orthopaedic rehabilitation, she was able to return to work and support her family.
Photographer : SIAN KHAN, Thang Khai
Confidentiality level : public
Publication restrictions : publication without restrictions
Copyright : ICRC
Description : ICRC website, article 02.06.2022:
"Myanmar: Paving their own path

In Myanmar’s Rakhine State, we work alongside individuals who are taking charge of their own lives despite the challenges.

Daw Thandar Oo is taking care of business. She runs a stall in Maungdaw, Rakhine State, selling fried noodles and vermicelli salad. But the competition is tough and adding extra ingredients to the salads to attract customers takes away from the profits.

Daw Thandar Oo needs to earn enough to support her son, daughter and 70-year-old mother. "Earlier, I could run around selling my salads," she says. "But with this leg, it's hard to keep up with the others."

Daw Thandar Oo wears a prosthesis. She lost her leg when diabetes caused medical complications following a burn injury. "As the diabetes couldn't be controlled, the wound didn't heal and the doctor had to amputate my leg," she says. "The doctor then recommended me to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) for physical rehabilitation."

She travelled to Sittwe in central Rakhine to a physical rehabilitation centre supported by the ICRC. There she was provided with accommodation, food and physical rehabilitation services to help her walk again with the prosthesis. In the months that followed, the process of relearning to walk was challenging. "I could not move around easily as the house was on a slope. I couldn't use crutches or do the exercises that I needed to," she says. "My rehabilitation journey wasn't smooth".

Through this challenging time, her family's support made all the difference. "My daughter is unlike anyone I know. She is an angel... she took really good care of me," says Daw Thandar Oo.

Since being fitted with a prosthetic, Daw Thandar Oo has returned to Maungdaw's markets and is back at work as the main breadwinner of her family. She knows that they need her. "If you lose one leg, you still have one more leg and two hands. Work with what you have," she says. "Right now, I am the husband, the wife, the father and the mother."

Life has not been easy for Daw Thandar Oo, but despite the setbacks and challenges she remains hopeful and looks to the future.

In 2021, the ICRC was able to support more than 700 people in need of prosthetics across Myanmar."
Original material : digital
Resolution : 5244x3496
Orientation : landscape
Colour/B&W : colour