This year, Nang Hseng* will graduate from Rajabhat University with a Masters in Public Health, a crowning achievement on top of an already impressive career
During her studies, Nang Hseng was already at work applying her skills to areas most in need. Even while completing her thesis, she was working in 20 rural villages in Shan state in Burma, collaborating with health workers on improving public health by collecting data, conducting needs assessments, and providing services needed in the communities. Over the past three years, Nang Hseng has conducted reproductive and child health care training for nearly 60 health care providers and social workers.
This work has proved immensely beneficial for both Nang Hseng and the providers she works with. One health worker Nang Hseng works closely with described her improved capacity saying, “For the past two years my friends and I have made family planning services more readily available in our communities. This has within a short time greatly reduced the high levels of maternal, infant, and early childhood mortality in our villages.”
Nang Hseng is also adamant about the personal benefits of her long-term thesis work. “I used to be very shy,” she says, “but now I am eager to ask questions at all times, and feel comfortable going before an audience of village leaders or community members to talk to them about their health problems and discuss ways we can work together to resolve some of the important health and other development issues in our community.”
Following graduation, Nang Hseng will continue working as Health Program Coordinator for a Shan women’s organization in addition to supporting the development of the rural communities she has long worked so closely with. Nang Hseng realizes the incredible position she is in as an advanced degree holder and plans to do immense good with her new qualifications. As she puts it, “I did not see women working in public health management in Burma. As I am a woman from a rural area, I want to take this opportunity to be able to work more effectively for community and all levels.”
Thank you for supporting Nang Hseng's dreams of higher education. Cheers to another women leader to shape the future of Burma!
*Names have been changed