Chiang Rai

Cross Border Health Curriculum

Four weeks

Four weeks

February 2024



Northern Thailand

OHSU Students

OHSU Students

15 Places Available

Sample Curriculum

1. Rotation Block: Winter 2, 2024

2. Thematic Focus: Promoting health among cross border populations

3. Duration: 4 weeks, including 2-3 weeks in Chiang Rai, Thailand, plus travel and additional coursework

4. Background and Rationale

Cross border areas have many public health problems. They are important entry points for communicable diseases, and affected populations may lack access to health care, health promotion, preventive health and emergency services. Communities in these areas face many social, legal, environmental and occupational health risks with women, children and the elderly particularly at risk and this topic has become a major political, financial and policy issue in Thailand.

The number of migrant workers is increasing and with it the implications for the healthcare system, public health, and funding. In 2010, 2.7 million people residing in Thailand did not have Thai nationality and 90% of them were migrant workers from Myanmar, Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR), and Cambodia. Estimates suggest that the number of both legal and illegal migrant workers in Thailand is over four million. This is because Thailand is the heart of Southeast Asia and shares long borders with Lao PDR, Myanmar, Cambodia and Malaysia. Thailand also has greater economic development and higher pay rates, better standards of living, and greater political stability when compared with its neighboring countries.

Thailand has a universal health care coverage policy that allows Thai people to access health care services with equity and quality. Thailand also has good health infrastructure and Thai health personnel have excellent quality training and experience. As a result, the Thai government has long collaborated with the Myanmar, Lao PDR and Cambodia governments to control and prevent communicable diseases and provide health care services for migrant workers and for people living on the borders. There is also a long history of cross-border work to prevent human trafficking.
Mae Fah Luang University is located in Chiang Rai province, northern Thailand, bordering both Lao PDR and Myanmar. Mae Fah Luang University faculty and health personnel have rich experiences providing health care services for people who live or have migrated to work in these border areas. The staff also work collaboratively with related organizations (both governmental and non-governmental organizations) and communities in Thailand including Lao PDR and Myanmar organizations.

Common “border health” issues have shared geographic, social, demographic, economic and cultural realities. Mae Fah Luang University is aware of the significance of cross border health issues, and plans to run a training program to enhance learning and care capacity for cross border health issues to prevent, control and promote the health of people living at cross border areas and in order to enhance their quality of life. In addition to addressing a serious public health issue, this program has the potential to enhance the profile of Thai academics as international experts on cross border health.

 Sample Course Content 

Day 1Monday

-Welcome to Mae Fah Luang university
-Participants Introduction
-Understand Thai (Thai language in daily life ; greeting, conversation, order food, travelling, etc)
-Learning Thai culture by tour around Mae Fah Luang University campus
-Course introduction
-Participants Country report
-AAR and Wrap up discussion

Day 2. Tuesday

-Cross border health system in Thailand and GMS 
-Social determinants of health
-AAR and Wrap up discussion

Day 3. Wednesday

-Cross border health: Epidemics, pandemics and control of infectious emerging and re-emerging diseases and referral system
-Situation and diseases management on Malaria and Dengue hemorrhagic fever
-AAR and Wrap up discussion

Day 4.  Thursday

 -Field study visit Chiang Rai Provincial Public Health Office
-Field study visit Chiang Rai Prachanukroh Regional hospital

Day 5.  Friday 

– AAR Field study visit and Wrap up discussion
-Violence against women & children
-Women and children’s health: Health promotion and diseases prevention
– AAR and Wrap up discussion

Day 6.  Monday

 -Human trafficking: impact on health
-Right of cross border people and migrant workers
-AAR and Wrap up discussion

Day 7.  Tuesday

– Briefing of the study visit, preparing questions, role and responsibilities/ point of interest to field visit at Human trafficking organization
-Human trafficking and study visit Bann Khru Nam Foundation (Human Trafficking Organization) at Chiangsaen District
– AAR Field study visit and Wrap up discussion

Day 8.  Wednesday

– Occupational Health problems and management
– Environment health problems and management
-AAR and Wrap up discussion

Day 9.  Thursday

-Cross cultural health care and services
-Group work exercises and preparation

Day 10.  Friday

– Group Presentation
-Final examination
-Course evaluation
-Closing session and certificate