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YANGON: At a small and peaceful clinic on the outskirts of Yangon, 20 volunteers tend to 300 HIV patients abandoned by a health care system allowed to crumble during decades of brutal military rule in Myanmar.
In a country whose rulers long prioritised military spending over the needs of their people, these men, women and children have found a refuge thanks to the work of a member of Aung San Suu Kyi’s opposition party. The centre was set up in 2005 by Phyu Phyu Thin, now a parliamentarian with the National League for Democracy, the country’s main opposition force following landmark by-elections last year.
Two traditional wooden houses surround a courtyard which is home to both a kitchen and washing area due to lack of space.
Patients in advanced stages of the illness rest on wooden benches during the blistering heat, too weak to venture far during the day. Those who have the strength leave each morning to earn an income for their families. AFP