The Three Millennium Development Goal Fund (3MDG) handed over 15 rural health centres in the Ayeyarwady Region to the Health and Sports Ministry on Monday in support of the government’s move to improve access to healthcare in hard-to-reach areas.
The five rural and 10 sub-rural health centres were handed over to the government in a ceremony at Thaenugone village in Laymyetna township.
“The health centres will provide access to more health care services for people who live in rural areas,” said Nicholas George, director of the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS).
The centres were funded by 3MDG donors Australia, Denmark, the European Union, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States - and designed and implemented by the UNOPS.
They were part of a US$12 million project to build 82 health facilities with onsite staff accommodations nationwide.
The centres – constructed based on population coverage, availability of staff and supplies, accessibility, local needs and lack of existing services – also have delivery rooms, emergency and waiting rooms, examination rooms, water tanks, incinerator and placenta pit, and drug storage facilities as well as solar panels.
The project started in 2014 under the Ministry of Health (now the Ministry of Health and Sports).
In Magwe, the first 17 were handed over to the government last year. The centres are providing healthcare to up to 50 people a day.
The remaining health infrastructures in Shan, Kayah, Chin states, Yangon, Mandalay and Sagaing regions will be handed over to the government in May, according to 3MDG.
Public Health Department deputy director-general Dr Yin Thandar Lwin said the government wanted to focus on providing better healthcare to people in the rural areas.
“Healthcare facilities are important to everyone. The government is also building health centres in the rural and sub-rural areas each year.
“In the 2016-17 budget, funds have been put aside to build 10 rural and 53 sub-rural health centres in Ayeyarwady,” she said.
Daw Yin Yin, a midwife from Laymyetna township’s rural health centre, said larger centres would serve patients better.
“The Thaenugone rural health centre is treating patients from nine or ten villages nearby. The new centres are bigger and they will provide better and faster service,” she said.
3MDG works together with the government and other partners to improve the national health system, extending access to quality healthcare for the poor and vulnerable communities. The 3MDG Fund contributes towards the improvement of maternal, newborn and child health; fight against HIV and AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.