The Burden of Disease Under National Surveillance in Myanmar: Shedding Light on Key Health Challenges
Myanmar, a country in Southeast Asia, faces several health challenges due to its varied geography, inadequate medical facilities, and an increase in non-communicable diseases. The country has a national surveillance system in place to monitor and report on matters related to disease outbreaks and healthcare delivery. However, despite its efforts, the Burden of Disease remains high in Myanmar. In this post, we take a closer look at the health challenges facing the country and how the national surveillance system aims to tackle them.
The Health Landscape in Myanmar
Myanmar faces a high burden of communicable diseases such as malaria, tuberculosis, and HIV/AIDS. The country also suffers from an increase in non-communicable diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and diabetes. These health challenges are further exacerbated by the inadequacy of healthcare accessibility, limited financial resources, insufficient health workforce, and poor infrastructure.
The National Health Plan 2017-2021 highlights the key health challenges facing Myanmar, with a focus on improving maternal and child health, reducing the burden of communicable diseases, and combating non-communicable diseases. It also stresses the importance of strengthening the health system, increasing access to essential medicines, and providing quality healthcare services.
The National Surveillance System
The Department of Public Health in Myanmar, together with its partners, has set up a national surveillance system to monitor and report on healthcare delivery and disease outbreaks in the country. The system is designed to collect data from various sources such as health facilities, laboratories, and community-based health workers. The data is then analyzed and used to monitor trends and patterns in the burden of diseases.
The national surveillance system plays a vital role in supporting evidence-based decision-making for health policies and interventions. It enables the government to monitor and respond to outbreaks of infectious diseases, such as the recent outbreak of COVID-19. It also provides insights into the burden of non-communicable diseases, the prevalence of risk factors, and the health-seeking behavior of the population.
Challenges and the Way Forward
Despite the national surveillance system’s efforts, challenges still prevail in Myanmar’s healthcare system. These include inadequate funding and infrastructural support, limited access to essential medicines, and a shortage of qualified healthcare workers. Moreover, the COVID-19 pandemic has further exacerbated existing health challenges, with the country’s health system being overwhelmed by the increasing number of cases.
The way forward lies in strengthening the existing health system, promoting health-friendly policies, and improving healthcare accessibility. Myanmar needs to invest in its healthcare system, ensuring its financial sustainability, and prioritizing the allocation of resources. It should also invest in health promotion activities, focusing on preventive healthcare and early intervention to reduce the burden of disease.
Myanmar faces several health challenges, ranging from communicable diseases to non-communicable diseases and inadequate healthcare infrastructure. The national surveillance system aims to monitor and report on diseases and healthcare delivery in the country. However, despite its efforts, the country’s health system continues to face challenges. By addressing these challenges and investing in its healthcare system, Myanmar can significantly reduce its burden of disease and improve the health and well-being of its people.