It was ten years ago, shortly after cyclone Nargis, when the idea for the Swimming Doctors was conceived. Two years later, the first ship, a freighter, was renovated and put into service to offer medical care to those in the surrounding areas of the Irrawaddy Delta of Myanmar.
However, earlier this year, after serving the community for eight years, the vessel was decommissioned.
In 2014, the Swimming Doctors 2 was built and in 2016 Swimming Doctors 3 was constructed. With 12 missions a year, the ships travel an average of 21 days a month in their area of operation. They treat around 62 patients a day, of which 30 percent are children. Among the adults, the women predominate with almost 2/3s of them being the patients.
The cooperation of these three ships, respectively two now, has played a pivotal role in improving the medical conditions in the area. In order to avoid confusion between the two similar ships, Swimming Doctors 2 has now been renamed River Doctors.