Community Partners International (CPI) is supporting efforts to end tuberculosis (TB) in Myanmar by promoting access to TB testing and treatment for conflict-affected, hard-to-reach and underserved populations. A crucial element of success in reaching these populations is to ensure strong cooperation between the Myanmar Ministry of Health and Sports (MoHS) and the ethnic and community-based organizations that provide the first line of health services in these contexts.
On October 9, 2019, national and international hepatitis experts and health providers gathered in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar, to review the findings of a one-year research project led by Community Partners International (CPI) to assess a simplified antiviral treatment strategy for hepatitis C. Through this project, CPI and partners are seeking to demonstrate that effective treatment of hepatitis C in Myanmar is viable and affordable using new diagnostic and treatment approaches.
Daw Thet Thet lives with her husband and two young daughters, a three-year-old and a baby of six months, in Hlaingtharya, a low-income suburb of Myanmar’s commercial capital, Yangon. A few months ago, Daw Thet Thet’s husband, a motorbike taxi driver, started coughing and having fever. Concerned about costs, they delayed seeking health care until the situation became serious.
Ma Hnin, 26, lives in South Dagon township, a suburb to the northeast of Yangon, Myanmar's commercial capital. Ma Hnin’s family moved to South Dagon six years ago from a village further east. “It is easier to earn money in Yangon. That’s why my family moved here,” she says. Ma Hnin lives together with her parents, husband and two children - a three-year-old daughter and three-month-old son. Her husband and father both work for a local saw mill. Just over three years ago, when she was pregnant with her first child, Ma Hnin found out that she was hepatitis B positive.
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.