|3DF Fund Board visits Kachin and Rakhine States|
Fund Board members hear local opinions in Kachin State ©3DF
1 April 2011 - Three Diseases Fund Board personnel travelled in two groups to northern Burma/Myanmar to observe progress and gain feedback of implementing partner projects from 6–10 March, during the annual 3DF Fund Board Field Trip. The first party visited Myitkyina and Bhamo in the Kachin State, visiting HIV/AIDS and integrated projects implemented by eight partners. They also visited township hospitals in Bhamo and Mansi. The second party travelled to the Rakhine State, visiting eight programme locations and three hospitals in Sittwe, Kyauktaw and Mrauk U districts. Both teams were accompanied by senior staff from the Fund Manager’s Office and the Department of Health.
Both the Kachin State and Rakhine State are ethnic borderland territories, reflecting the challenges of health and humanitarian progress in the country. Rugged terrain, endemic poverty, frequent migration and the legacies of conflict all contribute to the difficulties in addressing the high incidence of disease in international gateway regions. The crisis in HIV is especially acute in the Kachin State, malaria in the northern Rakhine State, and tuberculosis an emergent problem in both.
Both states have been targeted for health initiatives by implementing partners during the first five-year cycle of 3DF programmes. “It was encouraging to see the significant progress that is being made in addressing health needs in both states,” said the 3DF chair Ulrich Sørensen. “There are a diversity of effective partners, with real outreach into the communities. However there is no room for complacency. The disease burden remains high, and it is vital to build on existing programmes and scale up health provision in the coming years.”