Teaching hospital opened in Karen State

A Canadian charity and the Karen National Union launched Karen State’s first modern teaching hospital this weekend.

The 24-bed, Taw Naw Teaching Hospital will train local healthcare practitioners and help boost local public health services, according to Global Neighbors Canada Inc.

Padoh Saw Eh K’lu Shwe Oo, head of Karen State’s Department of Health and Welfare, said the Taw Naw Teaching Hospital in Kawkareik township is the first hospital to open since the KNU and the government signed a ceasefire in 2015.

“There are over 60 clinics in our Karen area. This hospital was opened to provide medical training to health staff from these clinics,” he said at the May 13 opening ceremony.

The launch was attended by Saw Thamain Htun, a central executive committee member from the KNU, as well as U Aung Lwin, State Minister of Security and Border Affairs. State government representatives, Karen State police officers and members of local civil society organizations were also present.

“[The hospital] will help ensure the health of local residents. We are very happy,” said local Saw Mya Aye.

At the launch event, the Karen State Police set up a crime education booth displaying information about murder, robbery, kidnapping, rape and theft cases from the state’s seven townships. The police also provided information about vehicle licensing and road safety.

Another training hospital is under construction in Nyaunglebin District, where the state health department is planning to train both nurses and health assistants.

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