In spite of the challenges, AmeriCares has managed to deliver aid and support key health services, particularly in response to Cyclone Nargis in 2008. Myanmar is one of the pilot countries in our community-based Disaster Preparedness Project
Snapshot of Myanmar:
Myanmar (formerly Burma) is a resource-rich country that only recently has started to emerge from years of political and economic isolation. This lengthy isolation has had a serious impact on the people of the country, deepening poverty and limiting even basic health care, particularly in rural areas. Over 32% of the people live in poverty, making it the poorest country in Southeast Asia. Critical health issues:
- a very high risk of infectious diseases including hepatitis, typhoid fever, dengue fever, and dangerous forms of diarrhea. Malaria is particularly deadly.
- nearly one quarter of all of the country's deaths are children under 5 years old.
In 2014, Myanmar joined our community-based disaster risk reduction (CBDRR) project based on best practices and international standards for community disaster risk reduction and public health preparedness. For the project, we worked with CWS (an international nongovernmental organization) and local partner organizations.
In 2008, Cyclone Nargis tore through Myanmar, devastating the country's southern coastal regions. One of the worst cyclones in history, Nargis, first struck on May 2. It caused a massive tidal wave and floods that killed nearly 140,000 people. The Cyclone destroyed many villages in Myanmar's hard hit areas, including Yangon and the Irrawaddy Delta. Other communities suffered significant damage.
In the wake of the cyclone, AmeriCares was one of the first relief groups allowed into Myanmar, delivering its first emergency airlift of medical aid within days of the disaster. A second major airlift reached the country along with AmeriCares relief workers, among the first allowed in the country
Following the disaster, AmeriCares delivered more than $4 million in lifesaving medicines, medical supplies and humanitarian aid to support Myanmar's recovery.
Since 1995, AmeriCares has delivered significant ongoing medical assistance to Myanmar through the Medical Outreach Program. The program donates medical products to qualified U.S. health care professionals who are traveling overseas to provide charitable medical care. Thousands of patients have benefited. AmeriCares has sent a variety of products, ranging from antibiotics and high blood pressure medications to analgesics, vitamins and nutritional supplements.
Recent News from Myanmar
As Cyclone Komen and heavy monsoon rains trigger more floods in Myanmar and displace more people, AmeriCares is working with a local partner to assess needs and support community-based disaster risk reduction in the affected areas.
In five days on site in Myanmar, a surgical team outfitted with medicines from AmeriCares Medical Outreach Program worked with local doctors and nurses to screen patients, conduct surgeries and educate local medical professionals.
One year ago today, Cyclone Nargis first struck Myanmar, causing a massive tidal wave and floods that killed nearly 140,000 people. AmeriCares was there within days, providing medical aid. Find out how you can help survivors still struggling to recover.