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A Burnet Institute delegation has been visiting Myanmar at a watershed moment for the country with the election this week of Htin Kyaw as Myanmar’s first civilian leader after more than 50 years of military rule.
Against this backdrop of excitement and collective hope for the future, Burnet Director and CEO Professor Brendan Crabb AC and Chair Mr Rob Milne have been visiting several of the Institute’s projects to meet Myanmar-based staff and volunteers.
In Yangon the delegation discussed the major Burnet themes of maternal and child health, adolescent health, harm reduction, HIV, tuberculosis and malaria and how the Institute is striving to make significant gains in these critical health issues facing Myanmar.
Image: Some of the 1000 pagodas in the Bagan region of central Myanmar
The Melbourne and Myanmar staff went through the extensive programmatic work undertaken by Burnet Institute Myanmar and praised the strong links with partners for successful implementation of major projects under the main themes.
The significant increase in research activities over the past five years in areas as diverse as monastic health and drop in centres was noted as an important achievement for the Myanmar office.
On Thursday the delegation travelled to a rural community about an hour from Bagan in central Myanmar, which features around 1000 pagodas, some of them up to 2000 years old.
Image: Burnet Country Representative Dr Phone Myint Win addresses the visiting delegation
Since its inception in 2003, the Burnet Institute Myanmar (BI-MM) program has grown steadily.
Effective partnerships have been forged with a large number of local organisations in the areas of HIV prevention, treatment, care and support, malaria prevention and treatment, MDR-TB care and support, and maternal and child health with a philosophy of civil society capacity building to enable community based solutions to health care delivery.
In 2005, BI-MM entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Ministry of Health to formalise our presence. In 2015, we expanded our MoU to enable operation in all 14 states/regions.
Image: A sticky moment, getting bogged in Bagan
We continue to be a leader in developing creative local solutions to complex development issues. Building on our technical and management expertise and financial resources BI-MM is well recognised in the donor community for its effective financial, management and reporting systems.
Click here to find out more about Burnet’s work in Myanmar.