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Compassion In Kenya

Compassion-CBO

Compassion CBO

Safe World Field Partner in Kenya - Compassion CBO, was formed to eradicate poverty through education and sustainable development among women living in the slums and rural areas and to rehabilitate orphans and vulnerable children.

Survivors In DR Congo

Bahati-with-group

COFAPRI

COFAPRI is based in Bukavu in the eastern Democratic Rupublic of Congo The organisation empowers women through encouraging income-generating activities such as the rearing of livestock.

Field Partner News

Safe World Field Partner, work directly with issues such as poverty, health-care, marginalisation, FGM, child marriage, and education.

Handwashing

Washing Hands to Improve Health in Rural DR Congo

COFAPRI organised handwashing sessions for school children and mothers in rural villages, with the aid of educational DVDs kindly supplied by Thare Machi Education. The word has begun to spread as neighbours are now prompting each other to wash their hands.
Safe Spaces

Safe Spaces Crucial for Women's Self-Reliance in Rural DR Congo

Increased security helps women become self-reliant and less financially dependent on their husbands. This improves the situation for the whole family and also means the women are less vulnerable to abuse.
Towards womens empowerment

DR Congo: Men's Inclusion in Women's Empowerment Benefits Everyone

It remains very important within communities for men and boys to be educated regarding the rights of women and girls, including their proper, fair and respectful treatment. When the women and girls become empowered, it is the whole community that benefits.
Margaret from Kiambu Support Group

Nairobi cancer survivor has hope at last

Margaret is among many women Compassion CBO trained in 2015. She has survived breast Cancer 2 times.

New Womens Magazine for Cameroon

The first edition of the Women for a Change Magazine is now available.

19-year-old SRHR college peer educators talk Feminisms

In most parts of our society, the word “Feminism” still remains a bitter pill for so many people to swallow, however, to Wfac’s college SRHR Peer educators, the ‘F’ word is about change, empowerment of all and transforming lives.

News, Interviews and Blogs

Under-reported issues affecting women and children. Exclusive interviews, articles and blogs by Safe World Correspondents and Content Partners

Lizzy and Victoria

Peace, Dialogue & the Ripple Effect: #RISING16 Global Peace Forum

Perhaps the most inspiring session for me came towards the end of the two days and was entitled ‘Bring back our girls – the forgotten victims of conflict’... We heard the CEO of International Alert, Harriet Lamb, and Victoria Nyanjura - who was kidnapped by…
Olutosin 2

Olutosin Adebowale: To America With Love

Once upon a time in my country, Nigeria, there was a ruler who was dreaded by many... We resisted and said No to every oppressive action or word to any weak or voiceless Nigerian... This is the time to stand firm on what has held the world together - Love.
Berlyne Ngwalem Ngwentah

Berlyne Ngwentah: 'The Biggest Cheerleaders of Women are Women'

All the most prominent, biggest community and feminist movements to alleviate the sufferings of women and girls and support women’s involvement in education and leadership have been championed mostly by women...
Jen 9

Promoting Misogyny, Zenophobia, and Bullying... is.... Nasty

I cannot ever vote for anyone who promotes misogyny, racism, Islamophobia, zenophobia, homophobia... It would be a mockery of my life... dishonoring my elders who have endured the many injustices of racial animosity, my friends who've experienced the same...
Women united

Women United for a Better Community in High Andean of Peru

“Women United for a Better Community” is a new group of grassroots women in the Ayacucho Region at the South High Andean of Peru, recently created by Estrategia, a National Grassroots women's organization. The grassroots women require to be heard and get the…
Narges

Narges Mohammadi - Women Human Rights Defenders Are Heroes, Not Criminals

On September 28th 2016 an Iranian appeals court upheld a 16-year sentence for 44 year old Narges Mohammadi, a prominent human rights defender. Mrs. Mohammadi is a key member of the campaign for the abolition of the death penalty in Iran, a lawyer by training,…

Young-Karen-childA young Karen child along the Thai-Burmese border looks to the camera. Reaching those in need has not always been easy © David Longstreath/IRIN

MYANMAR: Improvements in healthcare take longer than political reforms

Source: IRIN

For decades, Myanmar’s military rulers spent less on their citizens’ health - just US$2 per capita in 2010 - than almost any other country in the world.

As a result, the country has suffered from a chronic shortage of drugs, medical supplies, equipment and nurses.

In a country where 70 percent of the 58-million-strong population lives outside of urban areas, most villages lack basic healthcare, so when people get sick they often have to walk for hours to reach pubic hospitals or clinics. In some places NGOs and monasteries try to fill the gap, but needs are far too great to be fully met.

Amid a transition from military to quasi-civilian rule, officials have announced a quadrupling of the national health budget and a programme of hospital renovation.

Most of Myanmar’s population live in rural areas, while health services are concentrated in larger towns and cities. This means the health needs of most of the population of more than 50 million are unmet, especially in areas where conflict between the government and various rebel groups or inter-communal violence still occurs.

In the last two decades, the number of maternal and child health centres has stayed the same, while rural health centreshave increased by only 95 over five years, far short of the need.  Most centres lack supplies, equipment, drugs and professional support, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

"We are working without much [infrastructure] here. Most of the people who require immediate health services are neglected at the local centres,” said Than Min Htite, a team leader at a clinic run by Medicines Du Monde (MDM), an international medical NGO, in the country’s northern Kachin State.

Violence

Conflict has only made it harder to reach people in need, say health workers. In Kachin State ongoing fighting has displaced more than 62,000 people, with 24,000 in government-controlled areas and close to 40,000 in rebel-controlled areas. Another more than 7,000 are thought to have fled across the border into China.

Violence has warped malaria control along the country’s border with Thailand, and frustrated attempts to keep mothers and their newborns alive in eastern Myanmar, where the maternal mortality ratio is more than triple the national average of 240 per 100,000 live births.

Recent inter-communal violence in Rakhine State, in the north, has turned a bad state of health access into a “desperate” one, said Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)-Holland.

FILM: Mynamar - Awaiting Change
FILM: Mynamar - Awaiting Change
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Seeking health workers

In 2011, the country had 26,435 doctors nationwide, but most (15,508) are in the private sector, where services are unaffordable to most the population.

In 2009-2010, people spent an average of US$12 per person per year on healthcare, of which only $2 came from the government, with the rest being covered by NGOs and patients.

In 2008, the government reported there were fewer than 15 health workers for every 10,000 people, short of the internationally recommended 23 needed to provide basic life-saving services.

Nilar Tin, director of the planning division in the Ministry of Health, told IRIN the government has prioritized healthcare, but lacks human resources. This means that most villages lack basic healthcare and patients often travel for hours - in some hilly regions for nearly an entire day - to reach hospitals or clinics located only in towns, and which are often dilapidated and poorly stocked.

MSF has estimated that only one-third of the estimated 120,000 people living with HIV in Myanmar, who should receive antiretrovirals in terms of WHO standards, are being treated, and said the shortage of medicine extends to other serious illnesses, including tuberculosis (TB).

Myanmar is among the 22 countries with the highest TB prevalence worldwide.

“The [economic] sanctions have hindered development, collaboration and establishing investment in the health sector,” noted the UNAIDS office in Myanmar, referring to donors withholding development dollars to protest the country’s human rights record.

The country received close to $5 per person in overseas development assistance in 2010, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) - among the lowest worldwide, and a 28 percent drop compared to 2009.

The country’s per capita health investment of $2 is among the lowest worldwide. Despite recent increases in government health spending, WHO said ill-equipped hospitals and a shortage of life-saving drugs are still crippling care.

Without taking into account local currency devaluation or population growth over the past two decades, government spending on healthcare increased from 464.1 million kyat in 1988-89 (approximately $530,000 at the 2012 official exchange rate) to 51.7 billion kyat in 2008-09 ($59 million). The government has pledged to quadruple the 2012 health budgetin 2013.

Given the scale of need, change will be incremental, Than Min Htite told IRIN. “It is difficult to tell how long it will take… but it could take at least 10-20 years to reform… the public health services [which] are limited and nowhere organized.”

 

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