Northern Rakhine State / Myanmar

Fighting Tuberculosis in the Township of Maungdaw

Boys are taught by means of a poster.
Knowledge makes healthy: Information about diseases and their transmission is important for their prevention.

In 2003, Malteser International took over the TB projects from UNHCR and started to carry out a tuberculosis control project focussing in particular on vulnerable groups in the township Maungdaw.

Besides education, care and treatment of tuberculosis through DOTS (Directly Observed Treatment Scheme) attendants, targeted provision of food to infected people and their families is supposed to support convalescence and equally create an incentive for the affected to conclude their treatment successfully.

In October 2007, Malteser International extended the TB project to the neighbouring township of Buthidaung in Northern Rakhine State. With this expansion, Malteser International now reaches more than 700,000 people.

Besides Malaria and HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis is one of the main health problems in Myanmar. In Northern Rakhine State, the situation is particularly severe. Here, Muslim groups had to flee to Bangladesh in 1992/1992 and were only in recent years able to return to their country under the protection of United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees UNHCR.

Amongst the still oppressed and mainly landless repatriates, great poverty, malnutrition and high population density are the triggers for tuberculosis (TB). TB often affects those family members who earn an income and hence has catastrophic effects on the socio-economical situation for the entire family.

  • Sustainable reduction of TB infection, withdrawals from treatment, morbidity and transmission
  • Secure the access to adequate TB diagnosis, treatment and care for the population
  • Reduce the risk becoming immune to medications against TB caused by withdrawal from treatment
  • Assure TB diagnosis in the rural health centres and local hospitals through an improved laboratory equipment and special training of lab assistances.
  • Continuous TB treatment by supervision of DOTS attendants in villages to reduce the withdrawals from treatment
  • Training of Community Health Workers and Traditional Birth Assistances (TBAs) to become DOTS attendants
  • Provision of bicycles for DOTS attendants to increase their mobility
  • Increase the knowledge about dangers of TB amongst the population via education campaigns in the villages
  • Targeted provision of food for families in particular need to support convalescence and reduce socio-economic consequences of the illness
Project data
since August 2003
Financing:UNOPS-3DF, EuropeAid, World Food Programme (WFP), UNHCR (Revolving Fund), Malteser International
Partner:Community Health workers, local health authorities, national TB control programme

Malteser International:Maren Paech

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