In the run-up to today’s International Harm Reduction Day, the 26th International Harm Reduction Conference (HR19) in Porto, Portugal, came to a close on May 1, 2019. With support from the USAID HIV/AIDS Flagship (UHF) Project, colleagues from Médecins du Monde (MdM), Medical Action Myanmar (MAM), Asian Harm Reduction Network (AHRN), and Community Partners International (CPI) had the opportunity to attend the biannual conference.
On April 4, 2019, the Board of Directors of Community Partners International (CPI) welcomed Professor Larry Diamond, Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institute and at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford University, to give a talk on ‘Democracy and Myanmar’. Professor Diamond’s talk is part of an ongoing Speaker Series in which CPI’s Board hosts thought leaders, entrepreneurs, academics and public figures in conversation with donors and community supporters. The talk took place at Stanford University’s Encina Hall. Alongside CPI’s Board, 20 invited guests attended Professor Diamond’s talk in person and via webcast.
Ma Yin Shwe Aye lives with her husband and two daughters, aged 5 and 10, in their modest bamboo house in Kyaw Nu village, Myanmar. The village is situated in Mawlamyinegyun township of the Ayeyarwady Delta region in the southwest of Myanmar. In the dry season, when they can't collect rainwater, the family draws water from a nearby creek, but Ma Yin Shwe Aye worries that this water might not be good for her children's health. In July 2018, the family started using a new ceramic filter as part of a community-based project supported by Community Partners International (CPI). We visited the family in March 2019 to find out how they were getting on with the new water filter.
On March 13, 2019, Community Partners International (CPI) and the Myanmar Health CSOs Network organized an information sharing session with 85 Myanmar parliamentarians in Nay Pyi Taw to refocus attention on, and build momentum for, a national health insurance system to help Myanmar attain universal health coverage (UHC).
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.