Health providers in Myanmar are continuing efforts to contain a nationwide measles outbreak that has infected more than 1,300 people and led to the death of one child. The Myanmar Ministry of Health and Sports (MoHS) has launched supplementary immunization campaigns in affected states and regions, but low immunization coverage in many communities across the country poses a significant challenge to measles control.
For children who become infected with measles, vitamin A deficiency due to undernourishment is a recognized risk factor that can lead to severe measles. In Kawkareik Township, Kayin State, Myanmar, the Karen Department of Health and Welfare (KDHW) and the MoHS District Health Department are cooperating to ensure that children under five receive vitamin A supplements to help prevent severe measles in case of infection.
Myanmar’s Ministry of Health and Sports (MoHS) is seeking to contain an outbreak of measles that has already infected an estimated 1,300 people across the country and caused one death. The outbreak has affected many parts of Myanmar including the Yangon Region, where 248 laboratory-confirmed cases of measles were reported between January 1 and February 4, 2019, compared to 646 cases in the whole of 2018.
On February 15, 2019, around 50 pregnant and reproductive-age women in the Yangon suburb of South Dagon, Myanmar, gathered to learn about the hepatitis B virus (HBV), including the nature of HBV, transmission pathways, treatment options and prevention. This health education session was part of a pilot study, led by Community Partners International (CPI) in collaboration with the Myanmar Liver Foundation (MLF) and the B. K. Kee Foundation, to develop a workable and effective community-based model to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HBV in low-income peri-urban communities in Myanmar.
U Saw Paw Khwar's young son was successfully treated for malaria. Then U Saw Paw Khwar was diagnosed with tuberculosis (TB) and needed treatment. As malaria prevalence rates decline rapidly in southeastern Myanmar due to successful control and elimination efforts, community-based health workers are now supporting initiatives to tackle other infectious diseases such as TB.
On October 20 and 21, 2018, the B. K. Kee Foundation hosted the second Myanmar Liver Symposium in Yangon, Myanmar, in collaboration with the Myanmar Ministry of Health and Sports, the Myanmar Liver Foundation, Stanford University School of Medicine’s Center for Innovation in Global Health and Community Partners International (CPI). Dr. Thet Khaing Win, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health and Sports, Dr. Tin Myo Win, Chairman of the Union Peace Commission and U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of the Union of Myanmar Scot Marciel gave the welcoming remarks.