Health


Thirty-seven persons in Burma have died of dengue fever so far this year, according to the Ministry of Health, which warned that the rate of infection in the first half of 2015 is double that of the same period last year.
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After Thailand confirmed its first case of Midde East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) on Friday, Burma’s Ministry of Health has ordered an increase in medical screenings for foreign arrivals at border checkpoints.
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To commemorate ASEAN Dengue Day on 15 June 2015, international aid agencies, community based groups and public health workers across the region organised theatre performances, school art competitions, fumigation programs and awareness campaigns.
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Burma’s premier insurance providers will begin offering health coverage on July 1, beginning a one-year pilot project approved by the Ministry of Finance.
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Newly released census data revealing steady birthrates has renewed speculation over the motivations behind a recently enacted population control law, as some critics have implored lawmakers to offer a fact-based explanation for how the new provisions might be put to use.
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The Burmese government has been urged to provide adequate medical care to education activists being held in Tharawaddy prison following reports that many of the detainees are suffering from serious health problems.
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A law enacted last month by the quasi-military government allows officials in the Buddhist-majority nation to order women to wait three years between births. Rights groups say the changes, which are backed by ultra-nationalist Buddhist groups, target Muslim women according to a report in the Singapore based Today on 9 June.
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Lippo Group, one of Indonesia’s largest conglomerates, launched on Saturday its first hospital in Myanmar, as part of the group’s plan to spend $1 billion to build 20 hospitals in the country over the next three to five years.
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If mother of two Sandar Myat Min chooses to have another child, Myanmar’s government could decide when she can become pregnant.
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In Chin state, the poorest state in Myanmar, only 6 per cent of children receive health care, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has said.
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The United States has said it is deeply concerned about the legislative passage of the Health Care for Population Control Bill in Myanmar, paving the way for it to be enacted into law according to an official statement dated 19 May.
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Press Statement
Jeff Rathke
Director, Office of Press Relations
Washington, DC

The United States is deeply concerned about legislative passage of the Health Care for Population Control Bill in Burma, paving the way for it to be enacted into law. This bill and the three other draft bills to purportedly “protect race and religion,” which address religious conversion, interfaith marriage, and monogamy, contain provisions that could be enforced in a manner that would undermine respect for reproductive rights, women’s rights, and religious freedom.
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When a doctor of 16 years was posted as chief of the Health Department in the town of Ingapu, in Irrawaddy Division’s Henzada [Hinthada] District, he saw it as an opportunity to put into action a long-held plan.
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Deep in the forest, the surgeon fought to save the life of his patient, who had stepped on a landmine. When the tourniquet slipped and the bleeding resumed, the surgeon stemmed the flow as best he could with bandages and cotton wool before continuing his preparations to amputate.
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In what some might see as an attempt to present a more patient-friendly face, the Ministry of Health will be shifting its focus in the coming year toward hiring extra staff and dispensing more medicine. A still sizeable, but proportionally smaller, chunk of this year’s budget will go to improving buildings – which critics say the ministry has over-prioritised in recent years. (more…)

Almost two dozen food products from markets and schools in Nay Pyi Taw and Magwe tested positive for illegal and potentially toxic chemical substances, according to the Ministry of Health.
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At least three townships in Irrawaddy Division have been hit this month by an outbreak of diarrhea that is being blamed on contaminated drinking water.
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The government has repealed the former Myanmar Medical Council Law following approval of new legislation that it says will make the council independent on the Ministry of Health. Observers, however, say that the body may be only nominally independent, with most of its positions filled by government officials and the minister for health to occupy one of three powerful “patron” roles.
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On the eve of the Thingyan holidays – a period increasingly renowned for drunken partying in Myanmar – it emerged that authorities had told stores to stop selling the morning-after pill during the festival. These strong-arm tactics led to many shops removing other forms of contraception, including in some cases condoms, from their shelves.
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Outside a remote prison deep in the jungles of eastern Burma, young men sweat through their withdrawal in the dense heat of early summer. The inmates at this modest facility, about 60 of them in all, were arrested by ethnic Mon rebels for drug sales or possession, and have been sentenced to a sober stint of road-building in the underdeveloped region. (more…)

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