Myanmar Country Program

Health systems strengthening

PATH strengthens health systems to improve the health of people around the world. We pursue deliberate and measurable outcomes related to service management, policy, financing, supply systems, human resources, and information and monitoring systems. In Myanmar, PATH works closely with the Ministry of Health and Sports (MoHS) in health systems strengthening in the areas of health care waste management and reproductive health.

Strengthening immunization waste management systems

Improper management of sharps waste generated by health care facilities exposes health care workers and patients to infection. In addition, waste handlers and communities in developing countries are at risk of health hazards due to unsafe practices, such as scavenging in waste disposal sites, manually sorting waste, and reusing disposable syringes and needles. A person who experiences one needlestick injury from a needle used on an infected source patient has a 30%, 1.8%, and 0.3% risk, respectively, of becoming infected with hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and HIV.

PATH, with the support of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is supporting the MoHS’ central Expanded Programme on Immunization (cEPI) unit and its Occupational and Environmental Health Division (OEHD) to implement an operational research program (ORP) to improve current immunization waste management practices in the public health sector. The ORP aims to validate and document sustainable and scalable solutions to contain infectious sharps waste at the point of delivery, thereby reducing risks of injury and infection to providers, patients, waste handlers, and the community.

Developing a national sexual and reproductive health rights policy

PATH is supporting the Maternal and Reproductive Health (MRH) Division under the MoHS to review and expand on Myanmar’s most recent Reproductive Health Policy (2002). This work presents the opportunity to to reprioritize areas of need based on emerging evidence and global normative guidance, as well as to establish an overarching policy framework that will guide the development of subsequent strategic plans, clinical guidelines, care pathways, service standards and data collection.

The updated National Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights Policy aims to provide an updated policy framework, along the lines of the five core aspects of the World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) Global Strategy on reproductive health, which are:

  • Improving ante-natal, perinatal, postpartum and newborn care;
  • Providing high-quality services for family planning, including infertility services,
  • Eliminating unsafe abortion;
  • Combating sexually transmitted infections including HIV, reproductive tract infections, cervical cancer and other gynecological morbidities; and
  • Promoting sexual health