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.
As part of the USAID HIV/AIDS Flagship (UHF) project managed by UNAIDS through Community Partners International (CPI), project partner Metta Development Foundation (Metta) helps establish and support Local AIDS Committees (LACs) for HIV/AIDS prevention in communities in Kachin State and Shan State, Myanmar. We recently sat down with Daw Saw Yu Htwe, an LAC member at Metta’s project site in Nant Mon, Kachin State, to discuss how her perception of people who inject drugs (PWID) has changed through her involvement with the committee, and the importance of increasing access to harm reduction services within her community.
Heavy rains across Myanmar caused the Thanlwin (Salween) River to burst its banks and flood areas of Kayin State, Myanmar in July 2018. More than 16,000 people in Hlaingblwe, Hpa-an, Kawkareik, Kyainseikgyi and Myawaddy townships have been displaced, and thousands more affected by the rising floodwaters. Among those impacted are nearly 6,000 residents of camps in Myaing Gyi Nu, Hlaingbwe township, already displaced by conflict. In late July, Community Partners International (CPI) responded by organizing deliveries of emergency food supplies to displaced communities in Myaing Gyi Nu. CPI delivered 600 bags of rice, 1,440 lbs of meal substitutes, 190 gallons of cooking oil, 4,320 lbs of potatoes and 20 bags of salt to displaced communities around Myaing Gyi Nu. CPI is carrying out further needs assessments and will continue to provide support depending on the identification and prioritization of needs.
With support from a private donor, Community Partners International (CPI) is working to support 568 households (over 2,200 people) in five villages in Mawlamyinegyun township, Ayeryawady Region, to address the challenges they face and improve their living conditions. The Better Homes Better Lives (BHBL) Project is a partnership between CPI and local partner Baythitsadarna, a community-based organization linked to a monastery in Mawlamyinegyun.