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Aug 8, 2008 (DVB), United States first lady Laura Bush paid a visit to a migrants' clinic and met with health and education activists yesterday in the Thai town of Mae Sot on the border with Burma.
She also made a trip to Mae-La Karen refugee camp before meeting activists from Burmese groups operating in the area, including Dr Cynthia Maung who runs the Mae Tao clinic.
Mrs Bush praised the work of the clinic in providing healthcare to Burmese migrants and highlighted its successes delivering babies, removing cataracts and providing prostheses to landmine victims.
"I want the people of Burma to know that the people of the United States want to help in whatever way they can," she said.
"The people of the United States are aware of the situation, the very repressive government in Burma and the human rights violations in Burma and we want to do what we can to help."
The first lady brought with her donations of mosquito nets, hygiene products and school supplies.
On her arrival, Mrs Bush was greeted with a bouquet by Dr Cynthia Maung and a group of Burmese migrant school children who sang her a Burmese song while playing their traditional Burmese music instruments.
After her trip to the Mae Tao clinic, the first lady had discussions with several Burmese health and educational groups.
Cynthia Maung said the discussions with the first lady had mainly focused on a plan strengthen social organisations to encourage improvement in Burma.
"We believe she will also assist us in making the lives of Burmese migrants in Thailand more secure," said Cynthia Maung.
"And we also think she will push the Thai government for better life insurance for migrant children."
Naw Phaw Reh, chairperson of the Education Committee for Burmese Migrant Children, said she hoped Laura Bush’s visit to Mae Sot would bring improvements and changes in health and educational assistance for Burmese migrant children.
"I was very proud that Mrs Bush bravely came down to the border to meet us as she could not go to Burma due to the current political situation," said Naw Phaw Reh.
Reporting by Htet Yazar