FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 6, 2021
USAID Launches New Tuberculosis Project in Yangon Region
Yangon – The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Mission Director in Myanmar, Ms. Aler Grubbs, introduced the new USAID Local Action Toward Tuberculosis-Free Myanmar project to the Yangon Regional Health Department, development partners and local civil society organizations. Dr. Win Naing, Director, Yangon Regional Health Department, Ministry of Health and Sports opened the event.
The new three-year project marks a milestone in the U.S.-Myanmar partnership to prevent and treat tuberculosis. The project is being implemented by a Myanmar civil society organization, Pyi Gyi Khin, to empower people affected by tuberculosis to take a more active role in advocating for their wellbeing and in the design and delivery of health services that meet the needs of people in their communities. The Local Action Toward Tuberculosis-Free Myanmar builds on USAID support to the National Tuberculosis Program since 2012 and is part of the long-term U.S. partnership with Myanmar to improve health.
“USAID is committed to forging new partnerships with local organizations, in order to empower communities to generate local solutions that meet the needs of people. Pyi Gyi Khin will collaborate with a diverse group of civil society organizations, government institutions, the private sector, faith-based organizations, and other partners to work together to try to end tuberculosis,” said Ms. Aler Grubbs, USAID Mission Director in Myanmar.
Myanmar has made great progress in reducing the spread of tuberculosis. The country saw a greater than 50 percent reduction in the tuberculosis prevalence rate from 2010 through 2018. However, multi-drug resistant tuberculosis is a persistent challenge, especially in the urban communities of Yangon and neighboring regions Ayerawady and Bago, and Mon state. Tuberculosis remains among Myanmar’s top 10 causes of morbidity and mortality.
The Local Action Toward Tuberculosis-Free Myanmar project was awarded as part of USAID’s Global Tuberculosis Accelerator to prevent and treat tuberculosis in 23 high-burden countries, with a goal of contributing to national efforts towards tuberculosis elimination by 2035. The new project is beginning its work in the Yangon Region Catchment as this is where epidemiologists report the highest burden for both drug-sensitive and drug-resistant tuberculosis cases in Myanmar.