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Myanmar UK Health Alliance Newsletter

Left to right: Mr. Konstantino Karaoglanis (Biomedical Engineer, Trainee Clinical Scientist), Myatno Khin (THET), Dr Thinn Thinn Hlaing (THET), Faye Callaghan (IGH fellow), Dr. Amarita Ghature (IGH fellow) and Edward Tonkin (THET) at the MUKHA Sharing and Learning event in November. 

April 2020
Welcome to the Myanmar UK Health Alliance Newsletter!
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Around the world, we are faced with a phenomenal challenge from the Covid-19 pandemic which is placing significant pressure on our health systems, health professionals and the physical and emotional wellbeing of all of us. There is no better time to remind ourselves that the world is one big family and that challenges imposed upon us can only be overcome with collaborative, coordinated and collective actions by every country and every individual. With this, we are committed to all of our partners, especially the Ministry of Health and Sports (MHS) in the fight against Covid-19 and are determined to do everything we can to stay in touch and to explore areas of support during this difficult time.

Despite these challenges, April is the time to celebrate the Myanmar New Year Thingyan Festival and hence, we wish you all safety and good health in the incoming Myanmar New Year.

Recent Updates and Highlights

MUKHA Sharing and Learning Event
Training Centre, Yangon General Hospital, 15th November 2019

Opened by Dr Daw Yee Yee Myint, Rector of YGH, the event allowed MUKHA members to share the various achievements made throughout the year, learn about the common challenges faced and how best to mitigate those.

The following projects were discussed and shared:

- UK support on the training of trainers on skill/simulation teaching for undergraduate medical curriculum
- The YGH reinvigoration project
- Uplifting of biomedical engineering services at YGH
- The work of Improving Global Health fellows at YGH
- The NIHR research project on global neuro-trauma

PHE visit to Myanmar 
26th - 31st January 
Dr. Thidar Pyone (Senior Technical Advisor/ Country Lead for Myanmar) led a PHE mission accompanied by Dr. Leena Inamdar (Consultant Epidemiologist) and Dr. Jumoke Sule (Consultant Microbiologist for Myanmar).

The mission’s objective was to plan for 2020-21 with senior officials from MoHS, including laboratory strengthening, ONE HEALTH and the epi-surveillance workstreams of the IHR project with NHL, CEU and relevant departments. Along with this visit, the mission team has had collateral meetings with in-country collaborating/strategic partners on PHE’s IHR project, including THET, FAO and WHO country office.
Co-chairs of MUKHA meeting
8th February 2020

MUKHA Co-chairs, Professor Thet Khaing Win (PS of MoHS) and Professor Ian Cumming (CEO of HEE), met at MoHS, Naypyitaw to discuss future plans for collaborative work on undergraduate medical curriculum reform, increasing the capacity of nursing both in quality and quantity and the training of allied medical professionals.
THET's CEO visit to Myanmar
3rd - 8th February
THET’s CEO, Ben Simms, visited Myanmar to meet with the Union Minister HE Dr. Myint Htwe in Naypyitaw to discuss future collaborate work between UK & Myanmar counterparts. He also met with the technical advisory group members, faculties of medical and nursing universities and hospital administrators from Yangon region.

International Dermatology Meeting of the Burma Skincare Initiative (BSI)
21st - 23rd  February 

The Burma Skincare Initiative (BSI), a UK registered charity founded by dermatologists Dr Su Mar Lwin and Professor Chris Griffiths whose aim is to remove barriers to skincare access in Myanmar, held its first international meeting for Myanmar dermatologists and nurses in Yangon (full meeting programme can be accessed at

The first day of the meeting, held at the University of Nursing under the auspices of The Rector Prof Myat Thandar, was devoted to dermatology nursing – the first of such meetings in Myanmar – and was attended by 70 nurses from across the country. UK nurses, including Rebecca Penzer-Hick the President of the British Dermatology Nursing Group, delivered lectures and workshop training. The main meeting of the BSI, aimed at Myanmar dermatologists, took place at the Wyndham Grand Hotel with more than 200 delegates in attendance. The meeting consisted of two days of plenary lectures on the diagnosis and management of skin disease delivered by eminent international speakers from the UK and Germany.

Important presentations were made by Myanmar dermatologists including Professor Khine Khine Zaw (University of Medicine UM1) and Professor Myat Sanda Kyaw (UM2) and by the Rectors of UM1, UM2 and UM Mandalay.

A Roundtable discussion was held on 24th February to discuss the sustainability of the BSI and next steps. A number of actions arose including refinement of the BSI strategic action plan in which one of the short-term goals is for the BSI to join MUKHA.
Visit to the Medical University in Myanmar
January 2020
Having visited and worked in Yangon on many previous visits dating back over the past 4 years, I was fortunate to have the opportunity while visiting Myanmar as part of an ongoing project to develop trauma services in Yangon in late January to take a week to travel to the three medical universities outside Yangon and spend a morning at UM2 in Yangon.

The week involved visiting at, presenting to and working with members of the Anatomy and Clinical Skills and teaching units at the University of Medicine in Mandalay, University of Medicine in Taunggyi, University of Medicine in Magway and UM2 in Yangon.

The week was a great opportunity to meet up with colleagues who had spent time with me in Cambridge at the Surgical Training Centre during the Autumn of 2019. Visiting the unbelievable sites in Mandalay, Taunggyi, Inle Lake, Magway and Bagan alongside the lectures and presentations proved to be a superb balance between travel, work and leisure and I must express my heartfelt thanks to all my hosts.

My final Sunday was spent attending Church in Yangon, and visiting the National Museum for what was sadly far too short. Another highlight on that Sunday was a visit to the house of U-Thant where I, with my two friends/colleagues were allowed to roam freely and read of the amazing life and achievements of the great man, who I remember well during his ten years as Secretary General of the United Nations.

I believe the achievements of the week include providing insight into: 1) the concepts and modern practices used in teaching undergraduate medical students using cadaveric dissection, 2) the use of cadaveric tissue in the training of surgeons and allied health professionals and 3) the use of clinical skill training for doctors in training, throughout which emphasis on the need for having respect for the dead was well received and appreciated by all concerned.

In the coming years I look forward to re-visiting all of the Medical Universities during further lecture and teaching tours in Myanmar to develop the teaching and training programmes that are currently in use and to seeing their advancement into programmes befitting their top class students and professionals.

By: ‘MrC’ Constant MA LLM MCh FRCS
Consultant Orthopaedic & Trauma Surgeon
Director Governance & Quality
Director Technical Management
Cambridge Surgical Training Centre
Cambridge University Health Partnership
Cambridge UK



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