Malaria was generally well regulated in Myanmar in the 1970s, but spiked dramatically from 7,058 reported number of cases in 1971 to 30,870 in 1980. In 2007, Myanmar has 203,393 confirmed cases. Today, the World Health Organization ranks malaria prevention and treatment the country’s first priority in health planning.
PSI/Myanmar and SUN providers have responded to this initiative with SupaTab insecticide treatment tablets to treat bed nets for malaria prevention and Sure’s artesunate combination therapy and/or artemisinin-combination therapy rapid diagnostic test kits. PSI/Myanmar also uses behavior change communication to encourage Myanmar to practice preventive behaviors and seek treatment when needed. In 2008, PSI/Myanmar estimates that it helped avert more than 16,000 cases of malaria.
HIV/AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Infections
PSI/Myanmar’s two voluntary testing and counseling centers and 15 drop-in centers provide education and clinical services for female sex workers (FSWs) and men who have sex with men. SUN network participants provide STIs using Cure-U pre-packaged treatment kits, and PSI/Myanmar outreach workers conduct educational sessions for clients of FSWs.
Since the launch of Aphaw (“trusted companion” brand) in 1996, annual condom sales have risen from 400,000 to approximately 23.7 million in 2008. PSI/Myanmar also targets feel for women and feel for men condoms toward Myanmar’s highest-risk groups.
In 2008, Sun doctors conducted 959,000 reproductive health consultations. And PSI/Myanmar estimates that it helped avert more than 56,000 unplanned pregnancies via making the following products available via retailers, pharmacists and Sun doctors:
Male and female condoms.
- Daily contraceptive pills.
- One- and three-month injectable contraception.
- Intrauterine devices.
- Emergency contraception.
Child Survival/Diarrheal Disease
WaterGuard is a simple, cost-effective point-of-use water treatment that can help prevent diarrhea, cholera, typhoid and other waterborne diseases. PSI/Myanmar social markets WaterGuard and also monitors distribution to ensure price adherence and also that the product is sold within its expiration date. In 2007, PSI/Myanmar estimates that it helped avert more than 28,000 episodes of diarrhea.
PSI/Myanmar significantly improved detection, diagnosis and treatment of TB by adding Directly Observed Treatment (DOTS) in 2004 to the services and products offered through SUN. The WHO-recommended DOTS strategy has proven highly effective in curing TB, preventing the emergence of drug-resistant TB and preventing new infections. A full course of drugs can cost as little as $10 per patient – or an estimated $5-7 per disability adjusted life year saved. To date, 415 Sun doctors have registered more than 47,200 TB cases and a treatment success rate of about 83%.
The Princess Inaara Foundation is proud to partner with the global health organization PSI to implement a highly innovative and targeted three-year pneumonia treatment program in Myanmar beginning this spring. PSI is a leading global health organization with programs targeting malaria, child survival, HIV, reproductive health and non-communicable disease. Working in partnership within the public and private sectors, and harnessing the power of the markets, PSI provides life-saving products, clinical services and behavior change communications that empower the world's most vulnerable populations to lead healthier lives. PSI has been an active in Myanmar since 1995.
The new three-year program will focus on reducing pneumonia-related deaths among the most vulnerable of children by educating caregivers on how to recognize the symptoms of pneumonia and working with doctors to ensure that children are not only taking the right antibiotics but completing the entire treatment. The program will tap into existing PSI/Myanmar managed health clinics, the Sun Quality Health network, to diagnose and offer treatment to children under five with pneumonia symptoms. This well established network of trained private physicians provides essential services and care to communities across Myanmar. The physicians will focus on prevention, diagnosis and treatment of pneumonia in children. PSI will also work with influential community members, medical drug retailers and other leaders to provide them with the tools needed to educate caregivers on pneumonia prevention tools such as adequate nutrition (e.g., breastfeeding and zinc supplements) and reduced indoor air pollution.
To further complement the program, PSI will use mass media and printed communications materials to raise caregivers’ awareness of pneumonia, to increase their ability to recognize the symptoms of pneumonia and to motivate them to promptly seek care and complete prescribed treatment.
With the support of the Princess Inaara Foundation, PSI/Myanmar plans to treat more than 940,000 children for pneumonia by the end of year three and ultimately reach hundreds of thousands of caregivers and community leaders with lifesaving prevention information.