In late May, and early June, 2018, health worker teams from the Karen Department of Health and Welfare (KDHW) embarked on a fourth round of vaccinations for babies, young children and pregnant women in contested and conflict-affected areas of Kayin State, Myanmar. These communities are remote and hard to reach, accessible only along dirt tracks through mountainous and densely forested terrain that become virtually impassable during the monsoon season. This is the story of one team’s journey to provide lifesaving vaccinations to three villages in Kyainseikgyi township.
On January 19, 2018, 30 active and skilled members of the Rohingya refugee community in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, completed a five-day training course to help prepare them to become Community Health Volunteers. The course was supported and facilitated by Community Partners International (CPI) in association with our community partner Prottyashi, with training participants from Prottyashi and PULSE Bangladesh.
Jamtoli spontaneous settlement in Cox’s Bazar District, Bangladesh, is a temporary home to nearly 50,000 Rohingya refugees seeking protection from ongoing violence in northern Rakhine State, Myanmar. Since August 25, 2017, more than 650,000 refugees have crossed the border into Bangladesh, and more continue to arrive each day. The great majority of refugees are women, children (including newborns) and the elderly.
At first glance, Daw Ja Ring’s hands are unremarkable. Yet these hands have ushered into the world hundreds of the babies born in Shwe Gyin village, Kachin State, in the last twenty-five years. Daw Ja Ring is Shwe Gyin village’s trained birth attendant, a role she undertook when she was just 18 years old. Now, at 43, she has lost count of the exact number of births she has attended but estimates that it must be at least 300.
On Thursday, November 17, Community Partners International (CPI) hosted the first ever World Prematurity Day event focused on Myanmar. Held in Mae Sot, on the Thailand-Myanmar border, the event focused on raising awareness about premature birth in Myanmar. While the scale of the problem is significant, with an estimated 116,800 babies born premature each year in Myanmar, and 21% of deaths of children under 5 caused by premature birth complications, there is little understanding or awareness at national or community level.