The Burmese health system is considered among the worst in the world. The health situation in remote areas worsens compared to the already very fragile situation in the cities.
Primary healthcare is still out of reach for most people in Chin State, one of the most remote, isolated parts of the country, where three-quarters of the people, who mostly depend on small-scale farming to survive, hover below the poverty line. Poor transport and the state’s rough terrain mean rural residents often have to walk for days to reach medical care in the nearest town. Some arrive close to death while others do not survive the journey.
As healthcare is not easily available, many people rely on the traditional remedies for seasonal (monsoon) sicknesses and only when they are seriously ill do they go to the hospital. Despite health education efforts by the government and NGOs, health awareness and hygiene levels among local people remain low. It is not for lack of facilities. Chin has 9 hospitals with a total of 750 beds, 20 “station hospitals” – health facilities smaller than town hospitals, but larger than rural health centers – 9 maternal and child health centers, and 331 village health centers. But staffing the health facilities is difficult to accomplish and most facilities are seriously underserved.
In the specific areas where ASIA is continuing to work (Mindat District – Township of Mindat and Kanpetlet), even with enormous difficulties and limited to carrying out those actions that do not compromise the health of the people involved, the staff began to understand the health problems present and the need to support the Mindat Department of Health.
Therefore, a prevention phase to try to contain the spread of the virus has been launched. During the intervention, medical material lacking in the area and requested by hospitals have been distributed.
The beneficiaries are more than 317 between doctors and paramedics located in the different health facilities that refer to the two hospitals (Mindat and Kanpetlet).