MSF nursing team supervisor praying at the Shwe Dagon Pagoda
In 2020, Doctors Without Borders (MSF) continued to run projects across Myanmar, addressing gaps in healthcare in hard-to-reach communities and responding to the needs of people affected by inter-ethnic tensions

During the year, we gained significant access to Rakhine and Shan states, which allowed us to reach people most affected by conflict.

COVID-19

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, we were able to send mobile teams to several locations across Rakhine, including Mrauk-U in the north, to provide general healthcare and mental health support for internally displaced people. We also offered medical and logistical support to public hospitals, assisted the Ministry of Health and Sports with the management of quarantine sites and provided personal protective equipment to its staff.

MSF’s Thaketa clinic as seen from the outside.
MSF in Myanmar in 2020

Closure of Yangon HIV project

MSF’s Thaketa clinic is seen from the outside, Myanmar.

HIV and hepatitis C

In June, we finalised the transfer of HIV-positive patients in Yangon to the national AIDS programme. Although some patients’ access to antiretroviral (ARV) drugs was interrupted due to restrictions on movements during the pandemic, our team in Shan state made home visits to deliver medication where possible. We closed our HIV clinic in Bhamo, Kachin state, at the end of December.

In Dawei, Tanintharyi region, we continued to treat patients with HIV, including those co-infected with tuberculosis and hepatitis C, focusing on key groups such as migrant workers, fishermen, and sex workers. We adapted our projects to ensure continuity of care for patients in remote locations unable to reach our clinic, due to COVID-19 movement restrictions.

Healthcare in remote communities and urban areas

Since 2015, MSF had been providing general and specialist healthcare in Naga Self-Administered Zone, Sagaing region. Our team developed a community-based model of care, strengthened community health worker networks in Lahe township, and supported referrals.

In July, we handed over these activities to Medical Action Myanmar, a well-established organisation with whom we had been working informally for the past two years. We continued to support the health authorities in Dawei to respond to the seasonal dengue outbreak.

No. staff in 2020: 972 (FTE) » Expenditure in 2020: €12.8 million MSF first worked in the country: 1992

 
An HIV/hepatitis C patient receives a consultation in Yangon's MSF office.
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