In Myanmar, many rural communities lack easy access to the public health system. The mortality rate among children under five is as high as 80 deaths per 1,000 live births in rural settings. Childhood illnesses, such as acute respiratory infection and diarrhoea are leading causes of death. The country has also experienced an average of more than 17,000 dengue cases each year since 2010, most of which occur in children under 10. We have worked with the Department of Health to strengthen the health system through vector control and disease surveillance, using integrated community case management for effective programme delivery.
Rural communities in western Myanmar are often poorly served by the country’s public health system. After training volunteers to diagnose and treat common childhood illnesses in children under five and screen for malnutrition, Malaria Consortium scaled up the integrated community case management approach from three to six townships of Sagaing region.
From June 2016 to June 2017, Malaria Consortium implemented a pilot project that integrated and scaled up Myanmar's two community case management components to ensure the health system has the capacity to respond to all major childhood illnesses.
The Malaria indicator survey project in Myanmar aimed to provide national baseline data on malaria intervention coverage, malaria prevalence, population awareness and availability of malaria services in a representative sample of the population.
Malaria Consortium has been active in Myanmar since 2005 and established an office in Yangon in 2013, following an invitation from the Minister of Health to establish a presence in the country to provide technical assistance for malaria control — primarily through monitoring and evaluation (M&E) activities. We have since forged strong relationships with in-country and regional partners and government bodies and offer a wealth of technical expertise drawn from our programmes and research.
We have worked closely with the Department of Public Health via the Vector Borne Disease Control Programme, the National Malaria Control Programme (NMCP) and the Dengue Prevention and Control Programme. We have added tackling common childhood illnesses to our portfolio and currently support three further health department divisions: child health, nutrition and school health. We assist with strategic planning; data collection and use at national, regional, state and township levels; monitoring and evalutation of malaria programmes; operational research on vector control; and behaviour change interventions, especially among women and children in remote communities, mobile migrant forest goers and ethnic minorities.