The prescription: US$2.3 million, to be administered over two years, in support of the health system in Myanmar.
That is the figure the Three Millennium Development Goal Fund (3MDG) has pledged to augment and improve the country’s existing health-care system. The donation comes as a result of a May 19 agreement with the World Bank, and Myanmar partners and policymakers, including the Ministry of Health.
“Investing in better health systems is key to achieving better health for all,” said Dr Paul Sender, the fund’s director.
“The collaboration will create a robust foundation for a stronger health system, which is essential if Myanmar is to achieve rapid gains in terms of poverty alleviation and rural development.”
The money will be used to build the capacity in the Ministry of Health in the areas of health-care financing, management and delivery. It will also be used to help set priorities and develop a coherent strategic plan for achieving equal access to quality affordable health care, Dr Sender said.
The long-term goal, Dr Sender said, is the establishment of financially sustainable universal access to health care in order to prevent people from falling into poverty – or experiencing greater hardship – due to illness.
National policymakers, including the Ministry of Finance and Revenue, the Ministry of National Planning and Economic Development and partners in health service delivery, are an important part of the project, he said.
“Our partnership with the World Bank will provide a wealth of global experience and best practice knowledge in order to work toward improved health, wellbeing and longevity for all,” Dr Sender said.
The 3MDG Fund was established in June 2012 by bilateral donors, which have provided US$300 million for activities over five years. It supports health service provision and in particular aims to help the country meet the three health-related Millennium Development Goals of reducing child mortality, improving maternal health and combating HIV, tuberculosis and malaria.