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Dr Cynthia Maung named AIDEX 2016 Humanitarian Hero of the Year


17 Nov 2016


Development Policy

AIDEX 2016



·         Dr Cynthia Maung wins for her contribution to health education and protection to conflict-affected communities, migrant workers and displaced children.


2016 Humanitarian Hero Award

17 November 2016, Brussels: The AidEx Humanitarian Hero of the Year Award aims to acknowledge the great work done by individuals from the humanitarian and development aid community.

The award helps showcase the courageous and sometimes dangerous lengths they go to and the dedication they commit to their line of work.

This year, the finalists chosen from among a wide range of entries were:

  • Jaha Dukureh, Safe Hands for Girls
  • Dr. Cynthia Maung, Mae Tao Clinic
  • Dr. Martin Fisher, KickStart International
  • Her Excellency Shaima Al Zarooni


Dr Cynthia Maung took home the grand prize with over 2,463 votes from the general public, and was announced as the winner at AidEx in Brussels.

She is a medical doctor and founder of the Mae Tao Clinic in Mae Sot, Thailand on the Thai-Burmese border. When the military seized power in 1988 and began cracking down on pro-democracy activists, she was among thousands who fled to the jungle.

In 1989, after consulting with residents of refugee camps along the border about the medical needs of refugees and internally displaced persons, she established her clinic in a dilapidated building with bare dirt floors on the outskirts of Mae Sot. Her makeshift clinic had few supplies and almost no money, but she improvised by sterilizing her few instruments in a rice cooker and soliciting medicine and food from Catholic relief workers.

Today, Dr. Cynthia’s clinic treats more than 75,000 patients each year.  Dr Cynthia works with a staff of 550 people to provide health education and protection to conflict-affected communities, migrant workers and displaced children who have little resource to services elsewhere. The clinic receives 400–500 patients daily, treating such conditions as malaria, respiratory disease and diarrhea, as well as providing over 200 prosthetics for people who have had a land mine injury.

About AidEx

AidEx is a major international conference and exhibition for humanitarian and development professionals of all stripes. Held annually in Brussels, it brings together different voices  whether they be NGO fieldworkers, the public and private sectors, long-established thought leaders or brand new start-ups.

AidEx encompasses a conference, exhibition, meeting areas, awards and workshops. Its fundamental aim is to engage the sector at every level and provide a one stop shop for the visitor to meet, source, supply and learn.

For more information please contact:
Méabh Maguire
Weber Shandwick
T: +32 (0)2 894 90 23