Myanmar (Burma): Treating thousands of malaria patients

  • International staff: 31
  • National staff: 192

    MSF work in Myanmar (Burma) concentrates on key health problems including malaria, tuberculosis (TB) and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), including HIV/AIDS.

    The fight against malaria

    Almost 60% of the country's 28 million people live in areas of moderate or high risk for malaria. MSF works in the states of Kachin, Rakhine and Tenasserim, where high levels of resistance to the most commonly used malaria medicines make treating the disease particularly difficult. In Kachin and Rakhine, MSF operates mobile malaria clinics and supports national field labs for testing and treatment of the disease, treating about 50,000 malaria patients a year - the vast majority of them children under 15 or pregnant women.

    In northern Rakhine, MSF also runs a primary health care program which trains, monitors, and equips traditional birth attendants and community health workers. MSF does TB diagnosis and treatment in southeastern Kachin.

    In July 2000, MSF received permission to begin a new malaria program in the southern state of Tenasserim. MSF's malaria program in this area, which covers a population of about 250,000 people, will introduce new diagnosis methods and treatments, initially through work in three public health posts, a district hospital and a private hospital. MSF will work closely with the World Health Organization's Roll Back Malaria initiative.

    HIV/AIDS prevention

    HIV/AIDS prevention and education is a priority for MSF throughout Myanmar. Preventive education activities are implemented in Kachin, Rakhine and in the capital, Yangon (Rangoon). MSF also runs three STD clinics in the jade mine area of western Kachin.

    In Yangon, MSF works to improve the health of 250,000 people living in two new townships. Teams provide reproductive health services, operate therapeutic feeding centers for children under five and provide water and sanitation services.

    MSF has been working in Burma since 1992.