Myanmar, also known as Burma, is a country in Southeast Asia, bordered to the west by India and Bangladesh, northeast by China, and east by Thailand and Laos. Often called the “Golden Land”, the country is described as extraordinary and the people as warm-hearted. There are approximately 52 million inhabitants who originate from over 100 distinct ethnic groups. Buddhism is the predominate religion and pagodas fill the landscape.
Owing to decades of isolation and neglect, the general state of healthcare in Myanmar is poor. The government spends less on healthcare (1.8% of GDP) than most other impoverished countries.1,2 For comparison, Laos spends 4.5% and Cambodia spends 5.6% of GDP.1 In contrast, Germany spends 11.3% of GDP on healthcare.2
Myanmar struggles with basic healthcare needs including an inadequate number of doctors and hospitals, limited availability of many medical services, diagnostics, and therapeutics, 100% out of pocket payment for many medications and supplies, and others.1
While wealthy individuals seek medical treatment overseas or in private hospitals, the majority of people are less fortunate. The average annual income per capita is $702 USD and 25-33% of the population lives in poverty ($1.25 USD per day).2,3 Consequently, many patients receive inadequate care.
To support Myanmar physicians and medical staff members in the care of children, adolescents, and young adults with general medical and hematological and oncological diseases and to advocate independent local programs in the long-term.
We are a group of physicians and nurses from Hannover, Germany who endeavor to improve the medical care of children and young adults in Myanmar. Our subspecialty is pediatric hematology-oncology; however, we support general pediatrics and other subspecialties in pediatrics.
To this end, we established Gesunde Kinder Myanmar (Healthy Kids Myanmar) e.V. We work collaboratively with Myanmar partners, who are physicians from Yangon General Hospital, Yangon Childrens Hospital, Mandalay General Hospital, and Mandalay Childrens Hospital, to ensure sustainability and effectiveness.
With the support from Verein für krebskranke Kinder Hannover e.V., we visited Myanmar in October 2015. We toured hospitals and met patients, families, and medical staff in Yangon and Mandalay. We learned much about the Myanmar medical system. In addition, Somatex Medical Technologies GmBH, Ein Herz für Kinder, and private individuals, generously donated 400 bone marrow needles and 34 medical textbooks to our Myanmar hosts. (Photo Gallery)
The consensus among Myanmar physicians is the desire to be trained in various medical techniques and technologies. For example, the diagnosis of leukemia is based on microscopy in conjunction with technologies called cytochemistry and immunophenotyping. Myanmar physicians lack training to perform these evaluations. Consequently, sometimes, the physician must commit to a treatment regimen despite an ambiguous diagnosis.
We aim to strengthen the morphological and cytochemical assessment and establish flow cytometric analysis for hematological diseases in Myanmar. In August 2016 we sponsored a hematopathology training course at Yangon Children Hospital. Through a grant from the German Embassy in Yangon and a donation from the Parent Organization at Hannover Medical School, we provided reagents, materials, equipment, medical textbooks, and travel costs for the hematopathology training course. Drs. James Reuben and Joseph Khoury from MD Anderson in Houston, TX volunteered their time and expertise to teach and train 21 Myanmar medical staff members from 8 facilities/departments. Subsequently, the reagents and materials were used for additional training as well as for patient care. We desire to follow up in 2017 with another training course. (Photo Gallery)
The death a child to a treatable illness is a terrible thing. You can save a young person's life and positively impact a community by donating to Gesunde Kinder Myanmar e.V. Every Euro donated goes toward patient care. All medical and organizational staff members volunteer their time and founding members of the organization bear administrative costs. Some goods and services are donated by generous individuals and companies.
GESUNDE KINDER MYANMAR e.V.
IBAN DE07 5001 0700 0003 9099 02
Please do not hesitate to contact us if you require further information regarding our activities.
GESUNDE KINDER MYANMAR e.V.
30171 Hannover, DE
Telephone: +49 (0)176 15326712