Remarks as prepared for Han Kang, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Office of Public Health Director in Myanmar for the virtual launch of the Local Action Toward TB-Free Myanmar (LATT) Activity

Speeches Shim

Monday, January 25, 2021

The United States Agency for International Development, known as USAID, awarded a new three-year project called Local Action Toward TB Free Myanmar in August 2020. The Myanmar civil society organization Pyi Gyi Khin is our partner in implementing this project.  USAID introduced the new project to the Ministry of Health and Sports in October 2020 in a meeting with development partners supporting the effort to end TB in Myanmar. USAID Mission Director Aler Grubbs and I joined Dr. Thandar Lwin, Deputy Director General of Disease Control at that meeting. 

As Dr. Than Tun Aung mentioned, this project builds on our collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Sports and the Ayeyarwady Regional Health Department to achieve the objectives of Myanmar’s National TB Program. Many of you may be aware of USAID’s work with the Ayeyarwady Regional Health Department as part of the USAID Essential Health project. Thanks to Dr. Than Tun Aung, Deputy Director General, and his entire team who forged such an effective partnership with USAID Essential Health Project to improve maternal and child health and now we will extend our collaboration with Ayeyarwady Regional Health Department for TB prevention and control activities in this Region.

At USAID, one of our goals is to build partnerships with Myanmar organizations, to empower communities to generate local solutions to meet the needs of your people.  Pyi Gyi Khin and its partners worked with the National TB Program and USAID to design a program that will reach the people who are most in need and under-served.

This project will work in communities in the Ayeyarwaddy Region which are within the catchment area with Yangon Region and Bago Region. This catchment area is where seventy percent of TB burden in Myanmar is recorded. Local Action Toward TB Free Myanmar will support Ayeyarwady stakeholders to organize themselves to accelerate the detection, prevention, and treatment of TB in the region’s most densely populated, and growing, urban, suburban and rural neighborhoods.

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 TB.

The project, Local Action Toward TB Free Myanmar, will empower people affected by TB to take a more active role in advocating for their wellbeing. The project will help people contribute to the design and delivery of TB services and support that meets the needs of people in their own communities. Pyi Gyi Khin and their partners will document the effectiveness innovations that the communities adopt in order to amplify more effective, targeted solutions for the National TB Program.

The Local Action Toward TB Free Myanmar is part of the long-term U.S.-Myanmar partnership on health.  When the USAID mission opened in Myanmar in 2012, health officers were among the first members of our team. Specifically, the Local Action Toward TB Free Myanmar is part of USAID’s worldwide “TB Accelerator” to prevent and treat TB in 23 high-burden countries.  Our worldwide “TB Accelerator” is supporting different countries’ efforts to eliminate TB by 2035.

Myanmar has made remarkable progress in the past decade in reducing TB incidence. Myanmar serves as an example to your neighbors in the ASEAN region of what can be accomplished with strong partnership and effort. Thank you to the Ayeyarwady Regional Health Department, the Ministry of Health and Sports and the people of Ayeyarwady for your strong commitment to eliminate TB.

We will begin this new phase of our partnership to end TB in Ayeyarwady Region as part of Myanmar's goal to end TB in 2035. We look forward to continuing to partner with you to make this ambitious goal a reality in 2035.


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Last updated: July 15, 2022

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