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Reviews on Environmental Health

Editor-in-Chief: Carpenter, David O. / Sly, Peter

Editorial Board: Brugge, Doug / Edwards, John W. / Field, R.William / Garbisu, Carlos / Hales, Simon / Horowitz, Michal / Lawrence, Roderick / Maibach, H.I. / Shaw, Susan / Tao, Shu / Tchounwou, Paul B.

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Volume 31, Issue 1


Community-based efforts in health promotion in indigenous villages on the Thailand-Myanmar border

Ann N. Suk
Published Online: 2016-03-08 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/reveh-2015-0063


This case study of mainly Karen and Mon communities in Kanchanaburi Province, western Thailand, offers insight into the challenges that these rural villages face with regard to food security and environmental health issues. As non-Thai communities, these villages receive little support from the Thai government, and are often vulnerable in terms of access to food markets, infrastructure, and education and livelihood opportunities. This discussion further considers the involvement of Pattanarak Foundation, a Thai NGO, in health promotion and economic development in these villages as an example of a community partnership at the grassroots level. Examining Pattanarak’s efforts to build skills in household vegetable gardening and livestock-raising, raise awareness about child nutrition issues, and improve community sanitation illustrates the value of a participatory process, and also demonstrates some of the challenges associated with on-the-ground health promotion in disadvantaged rural communities. Applying a community-based participatory research (CBPR) framework to pursue partnerships between communities, NGOs, and researchers may offer an avenue for effective interventions to improve health in marginalized communities.

Keywords: CBPR; indigenous; NGO; participatory development; Thailand


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About the article

Corresponding author: Ann N. Suk, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 615 N Wolfe St, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA, E-mail:

Received: 2015-10-24

Accepted: 2015-11-20

Published Online: 2016-03-08

Published in Print: 2016-03-01

Citation Information: Reviews on Environmental Health, Volume 31, Issue 1, Pages 169–172, ISSN (Online) 2191-0308, ISSN (Print) 0048-7554, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/reveh-2015-0063.

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