Government allows MSF to resume activities in some centres

The government of the Union of Burma had ordered the cessation of all activities of the Dutch section of MSF in the country, despite them being providing medical care to tens of thousands of patients.

Myanmar
Mar 06 2014, 3:39 PM
Government allows MSF to resume activities in some centres
Staff at work in the dispensary of one of the MSF clinics providing medical care and treatment for patients.

The Minister of Health and Minister of the Interior allowed the NGO Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) Holland to resume part of its health activities that the Union Government had ordered to stop in Kachin, Shan and Yangon.

MSF Holland clinics were closed on February 27 following a verbal communication by the State authorities. Before being closed, MSF carried out a series of activities in nine locations in Rakhine, taking care of anyone who did not have access to necessary medical care.

The government of the Union of Burma ordered the cessation of all activities of the Dutch section of MSF in the country, despite them being providing medical care to tens of thousands of patients. The Government's decision will have a devastating impact on 30,000 patients with HIV/AIDS and for more than 3000 who are currently being treated for tuberculosis.

Despite the encouraging sign for partial resumption of activities, MSF is extremely concerned about the fate of tens of thousands of vulnerable people in the state of Rakhine, where the resumption is not allowed and where there is a major humanitarian and health care crisis.

Patients could not receive the necessary treatment as clinics for HIV/AIDS in the states of Rakhine, Shan and Kachin, and in Yangon were closed following the government order. Patients suffering from tuberculosis and drug-resistant tuberculosis also were unable to receive their life-saving drugs.

The thousands of displaced people in the state of Rakhine, living in isolated villages or refugee camps due to the ongoing humanitarian crisis, are in desperate need of basic medical care. Since 2004, MSF has treated more than 1,240,000 patients suffering from malaria in Rakhine state, where the disease is particularly endemic.

Hence, the NGO is negotiating with the Government of Myanmar to allow the staff to re-start its life-saving medical activities throughout the country.

Source: Agenzia Fides

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