Ethnic Health Workers Complete Approved Government and Karen Health Training

Ethnic health workers have been awarded government recognized certificates after a joint training held by government and Karen health departments in Hlaingbwe Township, Karen State.

The 31 trainees who completed the seven-month maternal child and reproductive health course provided by Karen Department of Health and Welfare (KDHW) and government Health department were awarded certificates on August 8 at the General administration office of Hlaingbwe Town.

Doctor Myint Thein Tun, Treatment Directorate said that the training was meant for ethnic health organizations and this is the first time it was held in Karen State.

“Before, we could only provide this kind of training in Dr. Cynthia Maung’s (Mae Tao) Clinic. Now that the country is more peaceful, we need local developments. So, KDWH negotiated with the government health department to provide a training inside Burma for the first time.”

Trainers on the course included resource persons from the government health department of Hlaingbwe, KDHW, Thai-Burma-border-based health organizations such as Mae Tao Clinic, Burma Medical Association (BMA), IRC-PIE and CPI – the training started on January, 2017.

The health workers who completed the course came from ethnic health organizations such as KDHW, Back Pack Health Workers Team, Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA), Border Guard Force (BGF), and Karen National Union/Karen National Liberation Army – Peace Council (PC). The training course ran for 7 months – 3 months for 15 theoretical knowledge and 4 months for 14 subjects of practical experience.

Naw Thaw Paw, a health worker from KDHW who completed the course spoke to Karen News.

“In this course, practical is harder than theoretical for me. I will use my knowledge after I go back to my place. Even though I am not 100 % confident with myself, I will try my best.”

Aside from the coordination between the government and the Karen health departments for the training, the KDHW is also working with the government health department to provide vaccines, work on family planning projects, malaria, TB and HIV.

“We started providing vaccine in Hpa-an, Hlaingbwe, and Kya-in Seik Gyi that are in the Kaw Thoo Lei (KNU) regions,” said Doctor Htet Ko Ko Lin from KDHW. “But next year, we will also work in Kawkareik and Myawaddy. We have been working together with government health departments on projects. We are planning to conduct another maternal and child health training in Kawkareik.”

Karen Department of Health and Welfare is one of the 14 departments run by the Karen National Union (KNU) and have been working with government health departments on health projects since the ceasefire agreement.

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