Ministry of Health and Sports and USAID Mark Progress in Ending the TB Epidemic



July 9, 2019

Nay Pyi Taw – On behalf of Union Minister of Health and Sports H.E. Dr. Myint Htwe, Dr. Thandar Lwin, Deputy Director General for Disease Control and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Mission Director Teresa McGhie spoke of significant milestones towards ending the tuberculosis (TB) epidemic in Myanmar and fulfilling the global commitment Myanmar made at the U.N. General Assembly in 2018. Their remarks opened a half-day event that highlighted the two countries’ shared achievements during five years of cooperation on the USAID Challenge TB activity.

Through USAID’s $15 million investment in the Challenge TB project, Myanmar achieved:

  • Diagnosis of 4,474 additional TB cases from across 37 townships of Sagaing and Bago Regions, and Chin and Kayah States, from 2017 to 2019;
  • Uptake of new state-of-the-art drugs, and a new short-course treatment regimen for multi-drug resistant TB that reduced treatment time by half, benefitting 516 patients;
  • Adoption of national systems for ensuring patient safety and improved diagnosis and treatment, including external quality assurance for chest x-ray, and active drug safety monitoring and audiometry testing for multi-drug resistant TB patients;
  • Increased adherence to laboratory quality management standards by more than 50% at two National TB reference laboratories for monitoring drug resistance; and,
  • Greater awareness of multi-drug resistant TB for an estimated 18 million people who saw the 2018 campaign messages on television, radio and/or in publications.

Ms. McGhie said, “Myanmar’s leadership in ending TB benefits not only people of all ethnic groups across the country, but it also benefits the global community as we work together to end TB across the planet. Myanmar is showing that increased investments in health, and deepening partnerships with the global health community, benefit us all.”

Ms. McGhie affirmed the commitment of the U.S. Embassy to mitigate sources of fragility and transnational health threats by promoting healthy and resilient populations in Myanmar. USAID will continue to work with the MOHS through USAID’s participation in the multi-donor Access to Health Fund to expand TB case-finding in hard to reach, conflict-affected townships across the country and to support control of multi-drug resistant TB in Yangon Region where half of the cases in the country are detected. These efforts are part of the approximately $32 million each year the U.S. invests in improving the health of people in Myanmar.

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[Burmese Translation]