Health

Health indicators in Chin State continue to be among the worst within Myanmar. The primary cause of death is from infectious diseases including pneumonia, diarrhoea and malaria – most of which are preventable and treatable. Medicines are scarce and expensive, and despite there being numerous health facilities, many are empty while all are understaffed.  Due to the remoteness between villages and towns, patients only travel to a hospital when their deteriorating health conditions are at their worst, with some arriving too late. 

OUR GOAL is to improve access to public health and primary medical care in Chin state.

Since 2008, HHM have trained 834 Community Health Workers (CHWs) and 166 Traditional Birth Attendants (TBAs) to develop a community-led response to health challenges across the region. This network of volunteer health workers is spread over 551 partner villages.

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Summary

Since 2008, Health and Hope Myanmar have trained 834 Community Health Workers and over 150 Traditional Birth Attendants to develop a community-led response to health challenges across the region.  The network of volunteer health workers are spread over 551 partner villages.  Following on from a pilot project in 2016 in Rakhine and southern Chin States to provide in-situ support to these health workers, this project builds upon experience learnt in order to:

  • increase access to health care services through ensuring the network of trained health workers are regularly supported and receive training to respond to the changing health needs of their local community
  • build capacity of the network of health workers through health education in order to increase the knowledge and capability of local communities to respond to their own health needs

Challenge

Southern Chin State and northern Rakhine States are two of the most neglected and impoverished regions in Myanmar. The project area is remote and poorly connected to the rest of the country. Villagers from the project area consist of over fifteen different tribal groups, all facing chronic food insecurity, a lack of educational opportunities and poor health outcomes.

This project aims to address:

  • the lack of access and availability of health care services for the rural poor
  • the lack of education about health management, sanitation, nutrition, disease prevalence and disease prevention
  • the lack of a sustainable solution for providing health care services for the rural poor
    • weaknesses in local drivers for change through engaging communities in self-determined change and influencing government provision of healthcare to rural areas

Solution

At the launch of the 2015 UN Primary Health Care Performance Initiative, WHO Director General Dr. Margaret Chan stated that, “when primary health care works, it can meet the vast majority of people’s health needs”. This has been the long-term belief and experience of Health and Hope.  That community-owned and led, primarily preventative rather than curative services, which adopt scientifically sound and culturally appropriate health education, will have the greatest impact and transformation on health among the rural population in western Myanmar. 

Health and Hope's community based model provides regular training opportunities for Area Coordinators, who in turn provide:

  • mentoring support
  • peer learning opportunities
  • one-to-one health training
  • access to medicines
  • health education campaign material and
  • monitoring of health statistics..

...to Community Health Workers in partner villages.  Funding for this project also provides for trained medical staff to undertake in-situ trainnig and run rural health clinics, in addition to supporting the development of Health and Hope Myanmar's operational capabilities.