Burma's cyclone and floods have drawn hundreds of local medical students and junior doctors to help treat survivors. Many went to work in camps organised by the military government, which has been widely criticised for shutting out foreign aid workers. Other volunteers bypassed the army's centres and took courses in disaster medicine provided by charities before heading out to the Irrawaddy delta, which was battered on the night of 2 May by Cyclone Nargis.
More than 134 000 people are dead or missing, and about 2.4 million are thought to be destitute. “They'll see things most doctors have never seen,” the Swedish surgeon Charles Randquist said of junior doctors learning what they would face in the delta at a one day seminar organised by a Malaysian charity.
A group of 20 junior doctors said that about a week after the cyclone they had begun treating hundreds of homeless people crammed