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How a Pill Gets Uphill: A Medication's Journey

How a Pill Gets Uphill: A Medication's Journey

How does medicine make its way to those who are sick in remote parts of the world? Come along on a medication's journey to the jungles of Myanmar!

Our journey begins in a big city where a seemingly insignificant capsule, which we will call Mr. Capsule, is manufactured. This is where Mr. Capsule begins his 11-hour journey to his first stop.

A Medications Journey 1


When Mr. Capsule arrives to his first stop, he is repacked into a plastic "tote box," with other fellow medications and much-needed supplies, before being loaded onto Vehicle # 2, which then takes this little capsule on another journey of about 4 hours. From there, he is loaded onto Vehicle # 3 and taken on yet another bouncy, curvy journey of about 3 hours.

A Medications Journey 2


Upon arriving at this next location, Mr. Capsule is then loaded and crammed onto Vehicle # 4, which happens to float and is constantly drenched in muddy but cool river water. After about a 1.5-hour swim, Mr. Capsule arrives at his next stop. At this stop Mr. Capsule is loaded onto Vehicle # 5 and soon begins wishing that he was a Dimenhydrinate (Dramamine) capsule as he is carried over some very rugged terrain. He is carried up, down, and across mountains, rivers, and streams, around nauseating switchbacks and hairpin turns, catching an occasional glimpse of mountain summit views at some of the most remote and rarely seen scenery in this beautiful country.

A Medications Journey 3


After this very dusty, or very muddy journey (depending on the weather), Mr. Capsule finally arrives at his destination, Earth Mission Asia, an IDEAS partnering project. He is then welcomed and unpacked by the eager hands of one of Earth Mission Asia's Physician Assistant (PA) students and proudly placed on the shelf of one of the best-stocked clinic pharmacies anywhere around the area. 

A Medications Journey 4


At some point in the very near future, Mr. Capsule will be dispensed by one of Earth Mission Asia's PA students. He will then be placed into the grateful hands of a patient who will carefully take Mr. Capsule per the clear instructions of the PA student. Finally at long last, after almost 25 hours of strenuous travel, Mr. Capsule is released to do the wonderful healing that he was created to do. 

And that, my friends, is the Journey of Mr. Capsule to a small medical clinic located in the jungles of Karen State, Myanmar where more than 200 patients come for medical treatment each month.

Click here to continue the journey of restoring hope and healing in Myanmar!


*This blog was originally posted by Earth Mission Asia on June 19, 2019. Click here for the original blog.


About the Author: Tyler is an ER/trauma nurse who is a PA Training Coordinator for Earth Mission Asia, an IDEAS partnering project that empowers the Karen people to provide high-quality healthcare in the jungles of Myanmar. IDEAS has healthcare and education professionals working alongside EMA's team. Learn more about the transformational hope happening in Myanmar: 
 "How Training to Be a Physician Assistant Is Changing Me."