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The Church of the Province of Myanmar : Community Health Programme


The Church of the Province of Myanmar (CPM) lists community health as one of its core missions and launched this programme in 2013 in Naga Hills, on the Myanmar/India border.

The CPM has six dioceses - Yangon, Mandalay, Mitkyin Sittwee, Hpa-an and Toungoo. The health programme works in rural areas in all of these; places where government health services are not easily accessible and people’s knowledge of how to maintain their health is limited.

The CPM’s approach has been to train village health workers and traditional birth attendants in these rural areas and to raise awareness of various diseases, with a focus on prevention. Seven health coordinators and six organisers have given basic healthcare training to 148 volunteer health workers and 56 traditional birth assistants. Along with the healthcare training, the programme provided training on income generation and on how to use and maintain medical equipment.

The programme has reported very impressive results since it began. The communities where it runs have benefited from learning about vaccinations, the correct use of mosquito nets, sanitation and keeping their surroundings clean. There has been a marked behavioural change in these communities, with people now more aware of environmental sanitation and the benefits of raising animals in a clean environment.

Mandalay Diocese is one of the CPM’s bigger dioceses. Here, the diocese’s Health Committee gives village health workers primary healthcare training, along with some medical supplies – first aid equipment for emergencies, for example. The church also conducts regular health camps, at which they teach basic hygiene. Since the villages the programme operates in are quite far from the nearest state-run hospital, the programme also acts as a hub from where people with serious illnesses can be referred for hospital treatment. Through this programme, the CPM has played a significant role in the eradication of malaria from this part of Myanmar.

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