Supporting Health Workers in Myanmar

by Tropical Health and Education Trust (THET)
Supporting Health Workers in Myanmar

With your generous support, and that of the Johnson & Johnson Foundation, THET is implementing a project aimed at “Saving Mothers at Delivery", in Myanmar.

The programme provides Basic Emergency Obstetrics and Newborn Care (BEmONC) training to healthcare workers at charity health facilities, private facilities, and ethnic health facilities. By developing the capacity of health professionals in maternal delivery and emergency management of obstetric complications, we aim to contribute to the reduction of morbidity and mortality rates.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and political crisis in Myanmar, THET has utilised online learning platforms. This is not only safe, and accessible, but has further widened our reach to marginalized communities in Myanmar. To facilitate the interactive learning experience, we have begun discussion forums within the online platform, in addition to the video-conferencing training sessions, to foster experience sharing and knowledge exchange.

Key topics covered through the BEmONC trainings are:

  1. Respectful Maternal Care
  2. Normal Labour and Active Management of Third Stage of Labour
  3. Management of Post-partum Hemorrhage
  4. Management of Maternal Sepsis
  5. Management of Pre-eclampsia and Eclampsia
  6. Use of Partograph
  7. Infection Prevention

As of July 2022, THET has delivered its BEmONC trainings to 91 health staff across 4 ethnic health organizations in the southern region of Myanmar. Of the 91 participants, 58 have completed their learning. Through evaluation, we have observed a 19% difference between the averages of pre-test and post-test scores (for those who have succesffuly completed the training). This shows promising rates of improvement. 

We thank you for your contributions and look forward to sharing further growth in this area.

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It is with your generous contributions that THET can continue its efforts towards safeguarding healthcare professionals and assisting those on the ground to provide quality healthcare in Myanmar. 

As we mark the one-year anniversary of the coup which took place on the 1st of February 2021, in Myanmar, we re-evaluate the position of healthcare workers and their dire need for safety and stability.  

For instance, earlier this week, Dr. Thinn of THET was invited to speak at an event titled “Health workers - targets or collateral of armed conflict?”.  Dr. Thinn stressed the unfortunate collapse of healthcare infrastructure in Myanmar, and the importance of raising awareness around the ongoing conflict. As healthcare workers are at the forefront of the civil disobedience movement, they are identified as prime targets. In fact, 129 health facilities have been attacked and over 30 health workers killed.  

To tackle the urgency of this issue, THET convened a shared space to coordinate the actions of previously fragmented Partners between UK and Myanmar through bi-weekly meetings. The drive and passion of partners resulted in the production of over 13 coordinated educational activities for doctors, nurses and medical students, 2 fundraising events, 4 Advocacy events, 4 television appearances, 7 media contributions and 14 journal publications.  

Thank you for your unfailing support as we continue to stand with health professionals in Myanmar. 

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This year was a devastating year for health workers, but none more so than those in Myanmar. 

Through your unwavering support, THET has been able to rally the health partnership community together to raise funds, train health workers and ensure that the plight of those in Myanmar continues to be in the spotlight. 

Last month, THET held a meeting for all the supporters of the Myanmar UK Health Alliance (MUKHA) in order to honour our colleagues in Myanmar who have so bravely fought for a free and democratic Burma. THET CEO Ben Simms praised the work of MUKHA, which enabled collaboration between over 20 institutions including Royal Colleges, NGOs and NHS Trusts, sharing mutual learning and binding relationships between the UK and Myanmar.  

Meeting every fortnight since the middle of February this year, MUKHA has: 

  • Provided medical education reaching over 3,000 colleagues across different cadres of health workers 
  • Fundraised to support the people of Myanmar, which included securing £100,000 to undertake medical education projects 
  • Influenced UK media to ensure the crisis stays visible, including contributing to stories in The Guardian, BMJ, BBC Newsnight, Channel 4 among others 
  • Engaged key parliamentarians, which culminated in a keynote address from Secretary of State Sajid Javid at the event  

A minute of silence was held to honour and remember those who have lost their lives and especially health professionals, friends and colleagues, who have shown incredible bravery in the face of extreme hardship.  

In the conference’s keynote address, Professor Lord Ara Darzi, Baron of Denham highlighted that the dual issues of the global pandemic and military coup are causing a protracted crisis. He praised the partnership work which THET and MUKHA are undertaking - including clinical guidance resources, webinars, and virtual training sessions - as immensely valuable tools to impact lifesaving knowledge and skills. Rushanara Ali, Labour MP for Bethnal Green and Bow and Co-Chair of APPG on democracy in Burma also thanked MUKHA for the extraordinary lengths they have gone to in order to save lives and help those suffering and struggling in Myanmar.  

The work of MUKHA was recognised in arecorded message from Secretary of Statefor Health and Social Care, Sajid Javid. He thanked THET for their support given to healthcare workers in Myanmar, stating that delivering medical education against the backdrop of the military coup and global pandemic is remarkable achievementMr. Javid gave a message of support to Myanmar population- stating that the UK people ‘stand with the people of Myanmar in their struggle for democracy’.  

THET would like to thank all those who spoke at and attended the event, the participants of MUKHA, and our donors for making this work possible.  

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Since the coup in Myanmar on 1st February 2021, health professionals have rallied with urgency to support colleagues on the frontline of the response.

We have been coordinating a humanitarian response group since then to ensure that we are working together to respond to the most urgent needs on the ground. We meet as self-directing individuals and institutions that chose to come together to coordinate and support each other in ways which amplify our impact.

We are guided by the principles of medical neutrality, as outlined by UN Council Resolution 2286. Initiatives are now underway across four distinct areas: medical education and quality improvement, communications, advocacy, and fundraising. For this report, we will focus on the medical education achievements, which your generous support has enabled.

Through your donations, health partners in the group have:

-        Established a website with clinical guidance resources for Myanmar health workers with a current userbase of 3000. This has enabled health workers to access urgent medical guidance while they treat patients during this crisis.

-        Delivered 21 Medics4Myanmar webinars on emergency treatment that have attracted over 500 doctors and nurses in Myanmar.

-        Supported the continuation of medical education for up to 1000 junior doctors by UK Myanmar diaspora.

-        Coordinated the development of an online medical school undergraduate degree curriculum.

-        Completed virtual training for over 600 Nurses and Midwifes across Myanmar on needs identified by the group.

-        Provided ongoing support to over 100 GPs in 50 Townships in Myanmar, including Training of Trainers training for 30 GPs to host final year medical students, allowing them to gain practical experience in patient treatment and care.

With health professionals under threat and many in hiding, this support has been invaluable to those responding to the crisis. Your donations have enabled this, and will continue to fund the development of these medical education initiatives

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Organization Information

Tropical Health and Education Trust (THET)

Location: London - United Kingdom
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @THETlinks
Project Leader:
Kat Brassington
London, London United Kingdom
$355 raised of $14,000 goal
 
9 donations
$13,645 to go
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