SAC Chairman Prime Minister Senior General Min Aung Hlaing address opening ceremony of Myanmar Public Health Conference 2023

Nay Pyi Taw December 6

Chairman of the State Administration Council Prime Minister Senior General Min Aung Hlaing delivered an address at the opening ceremony of Myanmar Public Health Conference 2023 at the Myanmar International Convention Centre-II in Nay Pyi Taw at 8.30 am today.

The ceremony was also attended by SAC Joint Secretary Lt- Gen Ye Win Oo, council members, Union ministers, the chairman of Union Civil Service Board, the chairman of Nay Pyi Taw Council, senior military officers from the Office of the Commander-in- Chief, deputy ministers, departmental heads, diplomats from foreign embassies to Myanmar, resident representatives from UN agencies, those from nongovernmental organizations, international and local public health experts, rectors and professors from medical universities, health staff and guests.

First, the Senior General cut the ribbon to open the conference’s archway.

The second session of the conference followed at the Plenary Hall. Speaking on the occasion, the Senior General said that the conference aims to exchange experiences on public healthcare at home and abroad, further promote cooperation among public health organizations at home and abroad, increase quality public healthcare services with higher coverage for all in equal term, implement further process of public health which plays a key role in meeting the sustainable development goals and the Myanmar sustainable development plans, and to nurture those who will lead the future public health sector. It is a very vast arena. This conference will be participated by more than 1,800 local public health experts onsite together with 30 international experts on line.

The State Administration Council is encouraging enhancement of health  standard of the people. In this regard, efforts are being made to implement the social objective “To elevate the health and sports sectors crucial for all the people, thus improving the nation’s life expectancy and health in line with the policy “nothing is important than life of human” while encouraging improvement of the health sector for the people.

The conference is being held under the title of “Improving the longevity and health of the nation”, so it will contribute a great deal to implementation of the aforesaid social objective.

Public health is being provided to the people for having health and fitness in various ways and means. On the other hand, people have to raise their health awareness to enjoy longevity and health in daily routine. Public health activities emphasize health standard promotion and prevention of diseases for  the people. So, the society will have healthy and fit human resources with free from diseases. As such, everybody needs to emphasize prevention of diseases in line with the motto: prevention is better than cure. Raising the public health awareness plays a key role in measures for the higher life expectancy of the peopl with free from diseases.

In Myanmar, as a special emphasis could be placed on public health sector,  maternal death rate declined to 60 percent in 2020, up from 1990 and the death rate of children under five, 53.2 percent in 2021, up from 2000. The infant mortality rate decreased by 42.1 percent in 2021 compared to the year 2000, and the outbreak of tuberculosis was reduced to 20 percent of the 2015 rate in 2020. It is known that Myanmar is the only country in Southeast Asia that has successfully achieved the End TB milestone. In addition, the outbreaks and mortality rates of HIV/AIDS and malaria have been significantly reduced.Then, the Senior General expressed his appreciation for the successes achieved in the public health sector and called for efforts to ensure equal access to quality healthcare at a low cost to everyone, including ethnic groups.

As basic health workers, they have to go to rural areas and work closely in public health activities as needed. The State has taken measures such as appointing more basic health workers, opening more rural health centers and branches, upgrading them into standardized ones, constructing staff quarters and purchasing and replenishing essential basic medicines and medical supplies.

In order for health workers to live comfortably where they are on duty, more staff housing projects are being implemented in various regions and states. Doctors holding post-graduate degrees and health workers, including nurses, are given monthly honorariums, and their benefits have also been increased, Similarly, risk allowance is also given monthly to employees who need health security.

The State has increased budgets year after year for public health activities such as vaccination and TB, procurement of HIV treatment drugs and medical equipment, maternal and child health, nutritional development, and purchases of medicines and medical equipment for non-communicable diseases such as hypertension, diabetes and heart disease.

Thanks to the cooperation of the entire people including health staff, related  departments and public donors under the leadership of the government, the COVID-19 pandemic could be successfully controlled in a short period of time with minimal loss. The post-COVID-19 period also saw no outbreaks of other infectious diseases. After the cyclone Mocha in May 2023, speeding health care activities resulted in no infectious disease outbreaks. And these are milestones of the health sector.

The experiences, knowledge and new technologies that will be gained from the public health seminar that is being held now will help achieve the goals related to the health sector for national development. Thus, by applying them, it is necessary to increase innovation and public health activities. The Senior General then urged everyone to participate and work together to further improve the State’s public health care standards so that all the people can live a long life without fear of disease and have a high life expectancy, he said.

After that, the video clip on successful public health care activities was shown when the employees of the Public Health department sang a song “Promote public health”.

Then, the Senior General and those in attendance posed for a documentary photo.

After the opening ceremony, the Senior General and those in attendance took  a tour of the booths of Reproductive Health, Maternal and Child Health Division, Elderly health Nutrition and School Health Division, Worksite and Health Information Branch, Department of Health Human Resources, Expanded Vaccination Branch, Division of Disease Control and Non-Communicable Diseases; Central Transmission, Natural Disasters and Public Health Emergencies Division, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation, Ministry of Industry, the Ministry of Agriculture Livestock and Irrigation, the Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement, the Ministry of Home Affairs, International Non- Governmental Organizations, Region and State Public Health Departments, and Directorate of Medical Services with interest.

Then, the Senior General asked questions and made discussions after hearing reports by officials. The seminar will be held until December 7.

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