Myanmar is a country in transition, and one that is poised to make substantial changes and improvements to the quality of life for its people in the coming years. However, the effects of decades of isolation from the international medical community and the lack of basic resources for primary care doctors cannot be underestimated. In 2010, UNICEF-based data illustrated that 66 out of 1000 children in Myanmar were dying before they reached their 5th birthday and more than 30% of children are undernourished or moderately stunted. In 2015, the WHO reported that 24,000 babies died in their first 28 days of life and the maternal mortality ratio was 178 deaths per 100, 000 live births.
BU GHC has been active in Myanmar since 2013, working with local general practitioners (GPs) committed to greatly enhancing primary care capacity in Myanmar. By providing technical support to the Myanmar Academy of Family Physician (MAFP), BU GHC is a partner in reimagining Myanmar’s approach to training primary care doctors and providing essential front line medical care to the population. Through a combination of initiatives, we are pursuing the goal of leveraging Family Medicine to improve health outcomes:
- Strengthening human resources by training GPs to become teachers of Family Medicine
- Advocating for primary care by helping the Ministry of Health and Sports and the Universities of Medicine to begin offering undergraduate and postgraduate training in Family Medicine
- Providing technical assistance to MAFP to facilitate its role as the professional society for primary care doctors in Myanmar
- Introducing best practices for primary care service delivery to be contextually integrated into outpatient medical care