In March 2016, Myanmar elected its first civilian head of state in more than 50 years. The country begins this new era burdened by a number of challenges: among them, an under-resourced health care system.
Diabetes is one of the main health problems in Myanmar, according to the Myanmar Diabetes Association. A national survey supported by the WDF
found a diabetes prevalence of 10.5% among Myanmar adults (the global diabetes prevalence is 8.8%, according to the International Diabetes Federation).
Changing lifestyles and limited knowledge are fuelling the epidemic. Yet despite increasing government recognition of non-communicable diseases and willingness to address them, knowledge among health authorities and providers about NCD prevention and management is limited. This is the result of a lack of training and outdated teaching curricula.
Funds raised by the WDF in 2016 will be used for training, screening and awareness related to diabetic foot care services in Yangon and Mandalay, Myanmar's two largest cities.
Although Yangon is relatively undeveloped compared to other major cities in the region, it is now the most vibrant city in Myanmar. About 5 million of Myanmar’s 55 million residents live in the Yangon region.
Funds raised in 2016 will:
• Train 450 HCPs in diabetic foot care
• Screen 10,800 patients for and treat 2,160 patients with diabetes foot problems
• Establish three university diabetic clinics with excellence in diabetic foot care services
• Conduct 468 diabetic foot care seminars
The services will be functional primo 2018. They will be anchored within Myanmar’s existing public healthcare system, in hopes that over time, this critical pilot will be able to pave the way for a more comprehensive diabetes foot care programme in the country.
Learn more about past WDF fundraisers:
The original version of this story described the Myanmar fundraiser as a diabetes and hypertension project. Since the fundraiser was announced, and in collaboration with the project partner, the project has gained an increased focus on diabetes footcare.