In 2021, Burma Humanitarian Mission supported Backpack Medics operating in isolated regions of Burma where the Burma Army continues to wage an aggressive campaign against the country’s ethnic minorities.
Specific objectives included:
Impact of COVID: COVID-19 has spread throughout the ethnic areas.
BPHWT and other humanitarian organizations are under-resourced to effectively prevent the spread, educate the population and treat the patients. Rapid Antigen Tests are in high demand, but cannot be found.
Many state trained health care workers left their positions to become CDM leaders– depriving those existing medical institutions with the capacity to treat COVID patients.
At times, the Burma government reaches out to urban and ethnic communities to provide education and support – but universal distrust of anything associated with the Army prevents any effectiveness.
Such distrust is instilled by the Burma army routinely seizing BPHWT and other humanitarian organizations COVID educational materials, treatment and supplies.
In northern Burma (Kachin State), the Army issued an arrest/shoot-on-sight warrant for a BPHWT team leader due to her aggressive COVID education, treatment and prevention efforts – causing the medic to flee to an isolated IDP.
Collectively, the increased fighting, Army checkpoints and widespread use of landmines renders the transport of medical and COVID supplies plus team movement extremely difficult.
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