Between 2012 and 2020, Myanmar (Burma) made extraordinary gains against malaria. The number of confirmed cases fell by almost 88% and the reported number of deaths fell by 98% (1). In 2020, only 10 deaths in Myanmar were officially attributed to malaria (2). This was the result of a coordinated multi-stakeholder prevention, control and elimination strategy supported by sustained local and international investment. But these gains are now under threat due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and the February 2021 coup.
In late August, Community Partners International (CPI) and local partner Green Hill broke ground on a new health post in Camp 1W of Kutupalong Refugee Camp in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. Scheduled to open by the end of October, the health post will offer free primary health care services to Rohingya refugees and Bangladeshi host communities in the surrounding area.
Living in crowded and cramped conditions, Rohingya refugees sheltering in Bangladesh are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19. On August 10, 2021, amid a worrying spike in infections, the Government of Bangladesh launched the first phase of the COVID-19 vaccination campaign for refugees over 55 years of age in Kutupalong Refugee Camp. As the first line of health care, volunteers supported by Community Partners International (CPI) and local partner Green Hill mobilized to encourage and support eligible community members in Camps 1W and 4 to take up the vaccine.
"I didn’t understand what a vaccine was. I just heard that they can leave permanent marks on the skin and cause fever." Tasmin, 24, pregnant mother of two children
Tasmin’s perception of vaccines is fairly common among her fellow Rohingya refugees in Kutupalong, Bangladesh, the world’s largest refugee camp. With limited access to accurate health information, misunderstandings and false rumors can travel rapidly within the community.
Mohammad Taher is a Rohingya Community Immunization Volunteer supported by Community Partners International (CPI) and Green Hill in the world's largest refugee camp in Bangladesh. Each day, he visits households in his neighborhood to help pregnant and women and young children get vaccinated against deadly diseases.
On March 22, to mark World Water Day, and under the theme "Valuing Water", Rohingya water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) volunteers supported by Community Partners International (CPI) led activities in Kutupalong Refugee Camp, Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh, to raise community awareness of water security and safety.
Ayesha and Jannat are Rohingya refugees from Myanmar sheltering in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. They fled violence in Myanmar’s northern Rakhine State in 2017 with their families, walking for many days to reach the Bangladesh border. Today, they live in Kutupalong, the world’s largest refugee camp. Both receive assistance from networks of Rohingya community health and water, sanitation and hygiene volunteers supported by Community Partners International (CPI). Here are their stories.
On Global Handwashing Day (October 15), a mobile school bus supported by Community Partners International (CPI) visited children living in slum communities in Dhaka, Bangladesh, to educate them about hand hygiene and distribute hygiene kits.
"We have a real opportunity here to push back hepatitis B. With the right approach, we can free a generation of children in Myanmar from this debilitating and deadly virus.”
Seven years ago, Khin Aye went for a routine prenatal check-up while pregnant with her first child. The hospital staff conducted a blood test. “When the test came back, they told me I had hepatitis B.”
Mountains, Bridges & Barricades: The Challenges of COVID-19 Prevention in Myanmar’s Naga Self-Administered Zone
In Myanmar’s restive and remote Naga Self-Administered Zone (SAZ), there are only two medical doctors to serve the needs of an estimated 130,000 people. In April 2020, with the COVID-19 pandemic threatening communities across Myanmar, Community Partners International (CPI) supported local civil society organization the Eastern Naga Development Organization (ENDO) to raise awareness of COVID-19 risks and prevention measures in 108 remote villages in five townships: Lahe, Leshi and Nanyun in the Naga SAZ, and the neighboring townships of Hkamti and Pansaung.