Saturday, March 6, 2010

International Organisation Helps Myanmar Reduce Child Death Rate

YANGON, March 5 (Bernama) — An international organisation “Save the Children” has vowed to help Myanmar reduce the death rate of under-five children caused by curable diseases by stepping up healtcare activities across the country in cooperation with organisations concerned.
In Myanmar, about 92,000 children across country died of such curable diseases annually as diarrhoea, pneumonia and malaria and 87 percent of the victims were from the rural areas, China’s Xinhua news agency cited the organisation as saying.
Volunteers from the organisation are now giving training and educative talks in villages as part of the preventive measures against the occurrence of the diseases.
The non-governmental organisation has been implementing the healtcare and nutrition project in areas of central Myanmar such as Pakkoku, Minbu, Magway, Pwint Phyu since 2006 and expanded its project to cyclone-hard hit villages of Kungyangong in Yangon division and Laputta and Mawlamyainggyun in Ayeyawaddy division in the post cyclone period in late 2008.
Myanmar is striving to cut the number of deaths caused by malaria by half this year in the wake of official report that about 700,000 people in the country are infected with the disease yearly.
To realize the target, the health authorities are calling for preventive measures against the fatal disease with the participation of the entire people and also with a high level of health awareness.
The preventive measures are outlined as imparting knowledge to the people, using mosquito nets treated with insecticide, cultivating the habit of visiting hospitals and receiving proper treatment.
Meanwhile, the Japanese government had provided earlier US$3.1 million more assistance to Myanmar in fighting malaria under its grassroot grant assistance scheme.
Medicines for effective treatment, medical care and prevention against the disease as well as mosquito nets were distributed to malaria-sensitive divisions and state of Bago, Magway and Rakhine under the Japanese grant aid in 2007 and 2008.
In March-April 2009, diarrhoea broke out in some five townships in Yangon, namely Thakayta, Dopon, Pazaungdaung, North Okkalapa and Hlaingtharya, killing at least four people.
The cause of diarrhoea was blamed for having unclean drinking water, blocking of drains with rubbish and absence of fly-proof latrine.
As preventive measure against diarrhoea, a total of 5,440 people in the North Okkalapa township, one of the diarrhoea-hit townships, have been given oral vaccination.
The authorities warned people in the townships to avoid taking contaminated food which easily causes diarrhoea and carried out sterilisation on every household’s kitchenwares, opening provisional dispensaries and offering free treatment on people who were infected with the disease as part of the preventive measures.
Diarrhoea mostly occurs in summer from March to April and pre- monsoon period from April to May.