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.
As part of the USAID HIV/AIDS Flagship (UHF) project managed by UNAIDS through Community Partners International (CPI), project partner Metta Development Foundation (Metta) operates drop-in centers in Kachin and Shan States to support people who inject drugs (PWID) and people living with HIV (PLHIV). Alongside HIV testing and counseling (HTC), Metta utilizes a harm reduction approach at its centers, focused on minimizing the risks and harm associated with drug use. Harm reduction services include the Needle and Syringe Exchange Program (NSEP) for people who inject drugs (PWIDs). The centers also offer clients opportunities to participate in additional activities such as art therapy.
During a recent art therapy session at a Metta drop-in center in Kachin State, CPI spoke with clients about their paintings and their lives. These are the human stories of hardship and hope within the drug and HIV epidemics in Kachin State.
As Myanmar’s health system evolves and health providers work towards the achievement of Universal Health Coverage by 2030, securing adequate financing remains an enduring challenge. This is particularly true for ethnic health organizations that, despite providing the first line of health services to hundreds of thousands of people in conflict-affected, hard-to-reach and underserved areas of Myanmar, have not received to date any direct financing from the Government of Myanmar. Community Partners International (CPI) is working with two ethnic health organizations in Southeastern Myanmar on a pilot project to model a new approach to health financing in Myanmar: Strategic Purchasing of health services. The intention for this pilot is to inform and guide future financing agreements, and help ethnic health service providers to secure broad, reliable and long-term financing sources to support their lifesaving work.
On June 16, 2018, more than 70 members of Hpa-An’s Township Health Department (THD), local authorities and women’s organizations gathered in Hpa-An to participate in efforts, supported in part by Community Partners International (CPI), to control the spread of the dengue virus.
Following the ‘Social Media for HIV Awareness’ panel discussion, the USAID HIV/AIDS Flagship (UHF) Project held a social media training workshop to equip UHF partners and civil society organizations with the tools necessary to implement HIV-awareness campaigns. The workshop, attended by 38 participants from 15 organizations, was organized by Community Partners International (CPI) and led by Tham Tran, Senior Marketing and Communication Manager at PATH-USAID/Healthy Markets in Vietnam, and Thant Sin, Tech 4 Peace Lead at Phandeeyar.