Malaria program is positive sign of government reform

People in the eastern Burma town of Kyain Seikgyi have welcomed a joint health campaign program by government and international malaria experts to combat malaria in the their area in Karen State.

The township hospital director, Dr.Maung Maung Lwin, confirmed to Karen News that Population Services International-Myanmar (PSI), a global health non-government organization based in Burma is carrying out anti-malaria activities with government health workers.

“PSI, our government heath groups and civilians are working together in the field distributing free insecticide-treated mosquito nets to villagers, providing malaria tests and running public health education.”

Villagers say the anti-malaria project started in April when a short training program was offered villagers to help with the project activities.

Saw Than Oo from the Phar Pya village told Karen News that the benefit of the anti-malaria project were positive for villagers.

“We cannot even afford to buy normal mosquito nets, but now we have been given for free, insecticide-treated nets. That is good. We can now have malaria tests for the first time in our village. Before we don’t have an opportunity to get checks because we couldn’t afford to pay the travel costs to go town.”

A nurse from Kyain Seikgyi hospital said the township has now better control of malaria and dengue fever infections than in previous years because of the newly introduced prevention activities and education.

“We only have had nine patients in the hospital so far who suffered from dengue fever – this much lower than before.”

A local villager assisting with the anti-malaria activities told Karen News.

“Before the project, as many as 100 people suffered from malaria. We knew the disease was preventable, but we could not afford the money to pay for prevention. It is good the NGO and government are working together on the anti-malaria program.

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