Recent Updates and Highlights:
Royal Colleges of Physicians MRCP PACES
The Federation of Royal Colleges of Physicians visited Yangon last month to deliver an MRCP PACES (Practical Assessment of Clinical Examination Skills) clinical course. The course is designed to nurture generic communication skills, and enhance understanding and clinical application of ethical principles in practice. It aims to improve the performance of local candidates in the PACES exam, which was introduced in Myanmar in 2013. The course also aims to encourage professional development of effective communication skills for long-term clinical practice, and helps local trainers familiarise themselves with the PACES exam.
The course faculty held a CME session with topical presentations in endocrinology (Dr Mo Aye, RCP team leader), renal medicine (Professor Sunil Bhandari), neurology (Dr Fozia Nazir) and acute medicine (Dr Mahir Hamad). There were also sessions on the MRCP exam, the Medical Training Initiative (Mr Matthew Scudder, RCP) and the IELTS exam (Ms Ei Ei Mon, British Council). All the candidates were successful, and some have been delegates in the previous MRCP PACES courses.
Following the course, a discussion group has been established on Facebook, allowing delegates to ask questions in a safe space and to provide ongoing pastoral support. Attended by 31 delegates, the feedback was overwhelmingly positive.
The course would not have been successful without the unstinting support of the local hosts at Department of Medicine, University of Medicine 1, Yangon. On behalf of the RCP team, I would like to thank Professor Zaw Lynn Aung and his team for their impeccable organisation and generous hospitality.
Dr Emma Mitchell, Specialty Registrar in Geriatric Medicine, North Bristol NHS Trust, UK. Faculty Member, RCP PACES revision course, Myanmar.
Public Health England Technical visit to Myanmar
PHE is delivering a project to strengthen International Health Regulations (2005) compliance in a small number of countries, one of which is Myanmar. This work so far has largely focused on aligning with plans to develop the Myanmar Centre for Disease Control along with supporting last year’s IHR Joint External Assessment and following National Action Plan for Health Security.
The findings from that report plus previous scoping visits informed a visit in early summer of a group of PHE technical experts covering emergency response, infectious diseases, Field Epidemiology Training, chemicals and poisons. Excellent discussions took place with key MOHS stakeholders as well as WHO and USCDC colleagues, and supported by DFID and Dr Thinn.
A proposal has been agreed with the Union Minister for the first phase of delivery to support the development of a health emergency response plan and increasing capacity and capability to support the response to health emergencies, a One Health Simulation Exercise and enhancing chemicals and poisons services.
Discussions continue on longer term work, in particular surveillance strengthening, supporting the USCDC FETP, and WHO on after action reviews and risk assessment training.
An amazing opportunity, very much looking forward to working with colleagues in Myanmar and also looking at how this aligns with other UK activity including THET and HEE.
Tina Endericks, Head of Global Health Security and Myanmar Country Lead. Public Health England
Cambridge Yangon Trauma Intervention Project
During 2018, we have been implementing the second phase of the Cambridge Yangon Trauma Intervention Project, that aims to improve provision of trauma care in Myanmar. The project is funded by the UK Government’s Health Partnership Scheme through THET.
In September 2018, a team of four biomedical scientists and laboratory managers with expertise covering Biochemistry, Haematology, Histopathology, Immunology and Transfusion Sciences spent a week working with colleagues in the YGH laboratories and at the Myanmar National Health Laboratory. They have since completed a report providing ‘A Situation Analysis of the clinical readiness of the laboratories of YGH and the National Health Laboratory to attain accreditation to ISO 15189’.
In October 2018, two critical care nurses from Cambridge University Hospitals started six month placements based in Yangon General Hospital ICU to support the development of ICU nursing.
In November 2018, there will be visits by further teams from Cambridge including physiotherapists, critical care doctors, nurses and theatre assistants and orthopaedic and plastic surgeons who will deliver a series of training workshops, faculty development and mentoring sessions to continue to build confidence and capacity in Myanmar for the continued improvement of trauma care. The orthopaedic team members will attend and contribute at the 50th Myanmar Orthopaedic Annual Scientific Conference and 38th ASEAN Orthopaedic Congress to be held in Yangon 7-9 November, and the physiotherapy and critical care teams will be extending training to Mandalay working with colleagues at the Mandalay General Hospital and University of Medicine, Mandalay.
FCO Visit to Yangon General Hospital
The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office Asia Pacific Director Kate White and British Ambassador Dan Chugg visited Yangon General Hospital to see the impact of UKaid-funded renovations, 1st Aug 2018
Yangon General Hospital is a key institution for healthcare in Yangon and throughout wider Myanmar. UK support has helped developed a Master Plan for its reinvigoration, setting out a concrete road-map for the long-term improvement of the hospital. In 2018, UK aid is supporting medical education reform (including an improved undergraduate curriculum), the design of a new Skills Training, Simulation and Research Centre, support for improving clinical facilities, air flow and circulation within the building, and better drainage, water and sewage systems, and fire safety.
Global Better Health Programme
The Global Better Health Programme (BHP), under the UK's Prosperity Fund will operate in eight countries, including in Myanmar. The primary aim of the programme is to strengthen health systems which will alleviate poverty and contribute to economic growth.
In Myanmar, the programme will focus on strengthening healthcare systems relating to non-communicable diseases, developing medical professional training, supporting the development of nursing capability and strengthening continuous professional development. The impacts for this programme will be: strengthened national leadership and systems to deliver better healthcare and tackle the NCD burden and health equalities; a skilled and quality assured healthcare workforce that are able to address population health needs and reduce NCD burdens; and lastly, greater public health literacy to improve prevention, detection and management of NCDs.
During the strategic development phase of the programme, the UK's National Health Services (NHS) conducted a technical workshop and submitted proposed interventions to support the Ministry of Health and Sports (MoHS) in working towards universal health coverage. Currently, BHP engages with counterparts in MoHS and international health organizations including the Myanmar UK Health Alliance in program structure and design. The programme will go to tenders later this year and delivery is expected to start in first quarter of 2019.
NHS 70th Anniversary
A celebration of the 70th Anniversary of the British National health Service took place on 5th July 2018. The event was organized by the Rangoon General Hospital Re-invigoration Charitable Trust and DFID Myanmar. The Minister U Myint Htwe and the Head of DFID Myanmar Gale Marzetti gave speeches followed by a round of panel discussion on 'Achieving Universal Health Care Coverage' by attending healthcare professionals.
Head of DFID Myanmar Dr Gail Marzetti said: “The UK's National Health Service (NHS) is the world’s largest integrated health system. It provides universal healthcare, free to everyone at the point of clinical need. The NHS treats 1.4 million patients every 24 hours and performs over six million day-case procedures per year! Today marks the 70th anniversary of one of the world’s most renowned universal healthcare systems- UK National Health Service.”
We are pleased to announce that THET have now been registered as an NGO in Myanmar, with a license to operate for a 5 year period. We will also be hosting a UK Myanmar sharing and learning event on the afternoon of the 13th November in Yangon. Further details will be communicated shortly.