As part of an ongoing series of forums throughout Myanmar to raise awareness of and engagement with Universal Health Coverage (UHC) among civil society organizations (CSOs), Pyi Gyi Khin and Community Partners International (CPI) organized a CSO Health Forum in Loikaw, Kayah State, on August 20 and 21, 2018. The forum brought together around 60 representatives of 15 CSOs implementing health care activities in Kayah State, the Director of the Kayah State Health Department and staff from all seven of Kayah State’s Township Health Departments.
Many thousands of people in Kayin State, Myanmar, continue to be affected by severe flooding caused by heavy monsoon rains. The floods have displaced many families from their homes and thousands have sought shelter in flood relief camps. For women and girls, displacement often makes it more difficult to access key services such as sexual and reproductive health care and can place them at higher risk of gender-based violence.
On August 7, 2018, Community Partners International (CPI) held a ceremony in Yangon, Myanmar, to award scholarships to three members of staff to support their studies to obtain health-related Master’s degrees. CPI Executive Director Dr. Si Thura presented the scholarship awards to Ms. Nay Zar Win, Mr. Kaung Htet Soe and Dr. Zarni Lynn Kyaw. The awards highlight CPI’s commitment to support staff professional development, and the awardees will return to work with CPI once their studies are complete.
On August 9 and 11, 2018, Community Partners International (CPI) distributed Dignity Kits to 500 women of reproductive age, including pregnant women and adolescent girls, affected by ongoing flooding in Kayin State, Myanmar. The Dignity Kits contain a range of items to support female hygiene and protect the health and safety of women facing displacement and other challenges due to the floods. These include a sarong, a bra, underwear, sanitary pads, a blanket, soap, laundry detergent, a toothbrush and toothpaste.
Yone Lay is a transgender woman and peer educator who provides health education and referrals at a drop-in center in Yangon, Myanmar. She works with Population Services International (PSI)’s Targeted Outreach Program (TOP) that aims to meet the needs of key populations that are disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS, including men who have sex with men, transgender people and female sex workers. PSI is a project partner of the USAID HIV/AIDS Flagship (UHF) project managed by UNAIDS through Community Partners International (CPI). Here Yone Lay discusses her responsibilities as a peer educator, her hopes for the transgender community in Myanmar, and the changes she would like to help realize in the future.