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Myanmar: Improving public health in a sustainable way

Burnet Institute

23 November, 2015

For more than a decade, Burnet Institute has been involved with health programs in Myanmar, the latest edition of IMPACT explores the important work the Institute continues to do in the country.

Below is an excerpt of the article which you can view online or subscribe today!

Since the late 1990s Burnet Institute has been active in Myanmar, building initially on small consultancies and capacity support, to establishing an office in the capital Yangon and working in each of the 14 States and Divisions.

This has been possible through an historic Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Ministry of Health signed in 2003, which formalised Burnet’s presence as an international non-government organisation (NGO) in the country.

More than a decade on, with a recently updated MoU, Burnet’s Myanmar Program is a well-established public health program delivered and managed by a core team of national staff located in Yangon, and supported by management and technical staff from our Melbourne headquarters.

The core approach is to strengthen national and community health systems and services with civil society partners, international organisations, UN agencies and Government stakeholders across 86 townships.

Burnet’s Country Program Manager for Myanmar, Ms Lia Burns outlines the challenges faced in responding to ongoing and emerging needs in a country experiencing significant and rapid socio-political and economic growth.

“Significant disparities in wealth and opportunity remain despite recent political changes that have resulted in progress toward development and resourcing of comprehensive development strategies for the social sectors,” Ms Burns said.

“At least a quarter of the censured population in 2014 of 52 million people live below the poverty line, with five per cent living in absolute poverty.

“Burnet’s program focuses where we can make the greatest contribution.”

The three priority areas that respond to nationally identified health issues are also aligned to Burnet’s areas of specialisation and globally recognised expertise – major infectious diseases; maternal, neonatal and child health; and adolescent health.

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Burnet Institute

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