Every day, 130 children in Myanmar die before reaching their fifth birthday, many from preventable causes such as malaria, diarrhoea and pneumonia. A child in a rural area is twice as likely to die before his or her fifth birthday as compared to a child in an urban area. At its current rate of reducing child mortality, the country will not reach its United Nations Millennium Development Goal of reducing child deaths by two-thirds between 1990 and 2015.
Myanmar’s public health sector has been inadequately funded over a number of years, which has resulted in a deteriorated health infrastructure and an insufficient health workforce. In addition to expensive and unreliable access to healthcare services, a significant portion of the population lacks clean drinking water and proper sanitation facilities, which contributes to the highest under-five and infant mortality rates in the region. Lack of access to emergency services and adequate nutrition contributes to high maternal morbidity and mortality as well.
What we do:
Save the Children’s health program works to improve the delivery of and demand for essential maternal, newborn and child health services. We work closely with the Ministry of Health at all levels, but particularly with Township Health Departments to develop plans for the delivery of health services, including training and support to Auxiliary Midwives and Community Health Workers. Ensuring that these frontline health workers are appropriately trained, equipped and supported makes it possible for families even in remote communities have access to treatment and referral services. We engage with communities and civil society organizations to promote healthy behaviours and ensure services are provided according to local needs.
We also work to reduce the burden of key diseases on families and the health system through specific support to prevent and treat HIV, TB and Malaria. A substantial portion of this effort is carried out through our role as a Principal Recipient of The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria.