Thai and Myanmar Health Minister Discuss Cross Border Health at Dusit Island Resort, Chiang Rai
CHIANG RAI – The Thai Minister of Public Health says, cooperation during the past three years between Thailand and Myanmar has halved the number Malaria patients, granted better access to medication for tuberculosis patients, and provided a better supply of anti-HIV medicine.
Public Health Minister Rajata Rajatanavin today co-chaired the opening ceremony of the 2nd Myanmar-Thailand Health Collaborative Ministerial Meeting with Myanmar’s Minister of Health Than Aung at Dusit Island Resort, Chiang Rai.
The ceremony addressed the outcome of both countries’ cooperation, and discussed the endorsement of the future cooperation plan in 2016-2018.
The Thai Minister said that the Ministry is aiming to enhance the healthcare system along border areas to help improve the health and safety of the public, especially through the disease prevention system and upholding food and drug standards. He stated that good multinational public health systems would help drive forward the ASEAN Community’s economy.
The cooperation between Thailand and Myanmar from the 2013 Memorandum of Understanding has been satisfactory. Malaria contraction figures were halved in 16 provinces of Myanmar, while the number of malaria patients dropped to 20,000 in 2014 from the recorded 45,000 patients in 2013.
The result was due to the contributed from the establishment of 199 malaria clinics along the Myanmar border to provide faster diagnosis and treatments. However, the disease has become more resistant to the current medication due to the free moment of people in areas such as the Dawei and Myawaddy Special Economic Zones.
On tuberculosis issues, The number of tuberculosis patients who now have access to medication has increased from 4,882 to 5,523 persons in 2014. Up to 80 percent of the patients use their medicine regularly. Thailand and Myanmar’s cooperation has also provided access to anti-HIV medicine for HIV patients, which has greatly improved their livelihoods.
The cooperation also includes the simultaneous patients referring system between the twin hospitals in four provinces, while the authorities now have to be more strict in regulating food and drug standards, including herbal medicines. Authorities have enhanced laboratory tests at Myawaddy, Tachileik, Dawei, and Kawthaung to allow molecular level inspections that will improve the public’s wellbeing, while other forms of cooperation involves academic cooperation, cooperated research, and trainings.
Future cooperation and operations for 2016-2018 are now being discussed to push forward a concrete cooperation plan to benefit the people of both nations. – NNT
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