UNOPS organized a study tour of Myanmar malaria programs supported by Global Fund on July 4 and 5.
The tour was attended by approximately 40 delegates representing their National Malaria Program in GMS countries, from Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Viet Nam and Laos, accompanied by the Unops program support team.
On July 4, all delegates had a meeting in Myawaddy (Burmese Border town facing Mae Sot) where they met the different programs representatives of the 3 Myanmar Elimination Programs sub-recipients (Medical Action Myanmar (MAM), Community partners International (CPI) and the Malaria Elimination Task Force of SMRU (METF)).
Formal presentations of each of the programs and some preliminary results were followed by detailed Q&A sessions. All questions related to the elimination strategies used in Kayin State (malaria posts, estimation of the submicroscopic reservoir and radical treatment of places where the submicroscopic prevalence is high, socio anthropologic activities to be carried out in order to obtain acceptance from the populations) were discussed in details.
All delegates were then taken for a full day visit of 3 of the SMRU/METF villages previously treated with MDA in Kayin State, where they were presented the villages history regarding malaria by the team operating in these villages and some Kaw Htoo Lei Department of Health and Welfare (KDHW) officials.
All questions regarding how MDA has been perceived, supported, understood by the population have been asked, to the villages leaders, the elders, and the general population, as well as technical questions to the team accompanying the visit.
Despite the rain and access difficulties, all delegates declared they were very happy of the study tour, which could give them firsthand information on the organizational elements of such elimination programs.
Text by Gilles Delmas. Photos © Suphak Nosten and Aung Myint Thu