Bordered by China, Thailand, India, Laos PDR and Bangladesh, Myanmar’s uninterrupted coastline extends more than 1900 kilometres along the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea. Home to more than 51 million people, Myanmar is undergoing significant economic, social and political change since the easing of international trade and economic sanctions. In 2000, the World Health Organization ranked the Myanmar (Burma) among the lowest of 190 countries for their health systems. The relatively poor health infrastructure in Myanmar coupled with a very low GDP spend on health care (below 3%), basic road infrastructure and rural services, there are significant challenges to effective health services delivery.
Major health challenges facing the country according to the World Health Organization include:
- Low life expectancy rates - 64 years for a male and 68 years for a female
- High mortality for children under five years (51 per 1,000 live births)
- High maternal mortality ratio (200 per 100,000 live births)
- Deaths due to malaria (per 100,000 population) is 5.4
- 60 percent of the population lives in malaria Transmission areas
- High TB burden - incidence rate was estimated at 373 per 100,000 population while prevalence was 473 per 100,000 population and mortality was 49 per 100,000 population. MDR-TB rate was 5% in new cases of Tuberculosis and 27.1% among previously treated cases of Tuberculosis
- High HIV burden – 190,000 [170,000-220,000] cases with an estimated 10 percent co-infection of HIV/tuberculosis
- Widespread poverty, lack of proper sanitation and water supply, malnutrition and poor health awareness
Since its inception in 2003, the Burnet Institute Myanmar (BI-MM) program has grown steadily.
Effective partnerships have been forged with a large number of local organisations in the areas of HIV prevention, treatment, care and support, Malaria prevention and treatment, MDR-TB care and support, and maternal and child health with a philosophy of civil society capacity building to enable community based solutions to health care delivery.
In 2005, BI-MM entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Ministry of Health to formalise our presence. In 2015, we expanded our MoU to enable operation in all 14 states/regions.
We continue to be a leader in developing creative local solutions to complex development issues. Building on our technical and management expertise and financial resources BI-MM is well recognised in the donor community for its effective financial, management and reporting systems.
BI has a strong reputation in monitoring and evaluation (M&E) and organisation development providing training to the UN and other non Government Organisations.
The focus is also on continuing to develop the capacity of local partners to respond to health issues within the context of broader development challenges in 48 townships in all eight regions and states.
BI-MM is expanding its research portfolio and research staff to undertake more operational and primary research activities in collaboration with the Government and other local as well as international organisations.
Research will be conducted in collaboration with the Myanmar Department of Medical Research, National Programs (of disease control, MNCH and School health), the Public Health University, Department of Public Health mainly with the National Programs (of disease control, MNCH and School health), Department of Medical Services and other government approved research agencies and local partners.
Burnet will also expand its implementation approach from capacity building of local organisations to direct service provision to communities, and support to the Myanmar Department of Public Health.
ANCP Maternal and Child Health program underway in peri-urban Yangon Division
- A study to improve the health and rights of Myanmar men who have sex with men
This research evaluated the effectiveness of ‘Link Up’ services, in men who have sex with men.
- ANCP: Prevention and care for drug-resistant TB in Myanmar
Implementation and evaluation of a model of drug-resistant TB care to facilitate scale-up in Myanmar.
- Evaluation of the Joint Initiative for Maternal Newborn and Child Health in Myanmar
Burnet led the evaluation of this United Nations program for maternal newborn and child health.
- Harm reduction among People who Inject Drugs in Myanmar
Aims to prevent the transmission of HIV among young people, students, migrant and transport workers.
- Ma Ma Oo - Maternal and Child Health Radio Series Myanmar
This project established a health radio program, providing effective community development messaging regarding maternal and child health.
- Malaria services for Myanmar's most hard to reach populations
This project undertook a malaria needs assessment, planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation in priority townships that are geographically and socially isolated in Myanmar.
- Male participation in improving maternal and newborn health: A community based intervention in Myanmar
Demonstrating the feasibility of increasing male involvement in Maternal, Newborn and Children's Health and to enable men to protect and promote the health of their families.
- Maternal Neonatal and Child Health support in Gangaw and Ngaphae townships in Magway Region – Myanmar
This project aims to increase availability and accessibility of essential services for maternal, newborn and child health through supporting Township Health Departments and community based interventions.
- National TB Research Agenda Workshop for Myanmar: 4-5 September 2014
Burnet Institute supported the National Tuberculosis Program (NTP) Myanmar to design and implement a national TB research agenda workshop to set the TB research priorities and road map for implementation for the next five years.
- Socioeconomic impact of HIV at household level in Myanmar
This study sought to gain a deeper understanding of the socioeconomic impact of HIV in Myanmar by looking at individual and community groups.
- Strengthening Monastic School Education in Myanmar
This project aimed to strengthen the monastic school system by building capacity in school leadership, management and infrastructure and improving quality of teaching and encouraging the involvement of parents and community.
- WASH: Evaluating the impact of a water, sanitation and hygiene program in monastic schools in Myanmar
A large baseline study was conducted to identify suitable WASH interventions for 80 schools across three states of Myanmar.