Myanmar lacks sufficient healthcare and excludes PLHIV

December 3, 2010

Posted by The KC team

The Alliance hosts a citizen journalism programme called Key Correspondents (KCs).

Writes Key Correspondent, Paradize.

The Government of Myanmar drives out all HIV patients who are living in the South Dagon area of Yangon. There are about 80 HIV patients living there. After the Nobel peace prize winner and the opposition leader Aung San Su Kyi visited a centre there, the military dictatorship drove out all HIV patients. The authorities gave the reason that the center is not hygienic.

But all sort of frauds are quite common in Myanmar. Some products and services in Myanmar are said to be ISO certified – by the International Organization for Standardization – but they never mention the country or the registration number of the ISO certification.

The ISO certified products or services in Myanmar may be fake or the ISO certificate issued by countries which are especially friendly with the dictatorship government of Myanmar. Some laboratories for example, say the lab is of International Standard and some labs’ names are written as “World Standard”. It is very misleading for the patients or the people who acnnot understand if the words ‘International Standard’ or ‘World Standard’ refer to the name of the lab or the quality of the lab. If it refers to the quality of the lab, which government recommended or approved it?

These kinds of words are 100% fraudulent to the patients or people in Myanmar because they enter because they know no better. These kinds of labs, products and services are neither recognized by ISO Swiss certified groups, INGOs, nor even comparable to the ASEAN countries’ standard.

It is no wonder that some businessmen in Myanmar dare to fraud under the Than Shwe administration. Maybe some of the military dictatorship’s Than Shwe government officials are also entitled to achieve world recognized honorable doctorate degrees specializing in fraud.

Many laboratories in Myanmar are not actually doing the laboratory exams but just write down the results off hand. Do you know how serious it is? Surgeons and physicians have to treat the patients depending on the pathologist’s report. Life is very cheap in Myanmar.

One cancer patient in Myanmar for example, was sent to a famous special clinic in Yangon (Rangoon) and underwent an operation by a famous surgeon. After the operation, instead of giving chemotherapy and radiotherapy, the surgeon gave a particular medication and said to the patient that it is the latest treatment.

The doctor was also quoted as saying to the patient that there is no need to give chemotherapy or radiotherapy and that the patient just needs to take the medication given by the doctor to cure the serious cancer-like diseases.

What is the outcome? The patient has to suffer a lot and his/her life is much shorter or he/she is dying in terrible pain. Do you think the doctor takes any responsible? No! No medical ethics at all. What kind of country is it, what kind of ridicule.

Even animal life in any developed country is much higher or more valuable compared to the life of people in Myanmar. Almost all hospitals and clinics in Myanmar do not have any treatment efficiency. Many people who live in the villages of Myanmar cannot afford to pay for the medication and hospital fee.

Although there are many bridges and roads, transportation throughout Myanmar is not at all dependable especially in many villages. Many village people have insufficient budgets so they do not even have a chance to know about their health condition (no proper routine medical check-ups such as blood sugar, blood pressure etc) or have ever been to any clinic (including dental clinic) or any hospital throughout their life.

In Thailand for example, poor people can get a free of charge for medication as well as free medical treatment. The Thai Government even provides healthcare to ‘alien’ workers. Foreign worker needs to pay only Bht. 30 to get all necessary medication and medical treatment in the government hospital.

Many doctors or medical staff in Myanmar still use the old-fashioned glass-syringes but never boil them properly, so it is very dangerous. Due to an insufficient quantity of disposable syringes, the HIV virus and other infectious viruses can easily be spread. There is no health insurance in Myanmar.

There is no credit card or ATM outlets in Myanmar so each and every patient has to bring a pile of Myanmar currency to the hospitals for their medical check-ups or undergo surgery. If they don’t have a pile of money, they have no other choice but to die.

The old ready-made garments business thrives in Yangon and is quite popular in the provinces of Myanmar. Old clothes are not safe or hygienic enough. It may bring some kind of infectious disease like venereal disease, syphyllis or gonorrhoea.

Many people may not have knowledge about infectious diseases like Hepatitis B and C, HIv and TB because of the poor edusation system in the country and lack of schooling. Many people who are living in the villages of Myanmar or the people who are even living in the cities may not have good medical knowledge so they are not afraid of anything.

Prostitution in Myanmar is very poor and dangerous. Although it is said to be illegal in Myanmar, people can get prostitutes mostly in the “Beauty Salons” which are run by the wives of high military officials. The glass doors of all the beauty salons are fully covered with black stickers so that outsiders cannot look into the salons.

Many beauty salons are available all over Yangon but the owners do not provide any regular medical check-ups to their sex workers. The sex workers do not have a proper healthcare.

The Government is hopeless so that all hospitals in Yangon have to depend on their own generators for electricity. Do you know how important of the electricity in the hospitals’ operation theatre and almost all medical equipments? Electricity is essential in modern day medicine and life in general – people need electricity everywhere. Electricity is needed not only in hospitals but also in constructions, schools, companies, factories, houses, traffic lights, airports, bus terminals and train stations.

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