Global Neighbors Canada is providing healthcare and educational opportunities to the Karen people in Kayin State, Myanmar. Global Neighbors also works towards poverty reduction through education and agricultural projects in Mae Sot, Thailand.
For a detailed missions statement, visit our website at www.gnci.ca
About GLOBAL NEIGHBORS CANADA INC.
Global Neighbors Canada is working with the Karen Department of Health and Welfare inside Myanmar and with the Burmese Migrant Community on the Thai Burma border. In May 2017. the Taw Nor Teaching Hospital opened in Kawkareik Township and is now seeing both in-patients and out-patients.
We also provide educational faculties and safe havens for displaced and orphaned children and have agricultural projects to provide self sustainability for schools and to create employment for students.
About Peace and Convergence in Myanmar
The Karen conflict in Myanmar (Burma) has been described as one of the world's "longest running civil wars". The Karen nationalist movement has been fighting for more autonomy and/or independence within the country since 1949. The conflict has mainly been fought in modern-day Karen state, which was established in 1952 by the then Burmese Government. Hundreds of thousands of Karen have been killed or displaced since the inception of this conflict.
On October 15, 2015, the Myanmar's government and eight of the country’s 15 armed ethnic groups signed the National Ceasefire Agreement (NCA), the culmination of more than two years of negotiations aimed at bringing an end to the majority of the country's long-running conflicts. The Karen National Union (KNU), Myanmar's oldest armed group was one of the signatories. The signing of this agreement has introduced a period of tempered optimism that one of the world's longest-running conflicts is approaching resolution.
About Taw Nor Teaching Hospital
It is in this transitional, post conflict environment that the Taw Nor Teaching Hospital (TNTH), a 24 bed facility, was formally opened May 13, 2017. It is situated in Kawkareik Township, Kayin State and serves an estimated population of 20,000. The hospital was constructed by the INGO, Global Neighbors Canada, Inc (GN) after a request from the KNU and Karen Department of Health and Welfare (KDHW). GN has over 12 years of construction experience on the Thai-Myanmar border with a focus of supporting the education, social welfare, and health infrastructure needs of the Karen people.
The relationship between conflict reduction and improved access to health care is well established. The World Health Organization (WHO) established the “Health as a Bridge for Peace” strategy two decades ago. Sara Davies wrote in The Global Politics of Health (2001), “… there is an important correlation between access to health care and nation building. The provision of health care indicates progress, security, and stability and gives the state a positive presence. All this serves to increase the population’s faith and support in the post-conflict rebuilding phase.” It is with these critical outcomes in prime focus that the KNU and KDHW have committed to the success of TNTH and with this goal, establishing a real sense of peace, progress, and stability for the Karen peoples.
The KDHW is the lead organization of TNTH. THTH has an independent board of directors comprised of representatives from KDHW, Karen Women’s Organization, Karen Department of Education, Global Neighbors Canada and Myanmar government Local, Township and State Representatives, with the ultimate goal of health systems convergence.
TNTH started providing limited clinical services in May 2017 including outpatient and inpatient care. Medical staff include two national physicians and a charge nurse, with a complement of medics, maternal and child health workers, community health workers, and ancillary staff. As more funds become available, staff and clinical services will be expanded to include a full range of secondary hospital services including surgery, emergency care, obstetrics, and pediatrics. Plans also include the development of x-ray, ultrasound, and laboratory services. Additionally, TNTH will focus on providing primary health care to the surrounding communities with an emphasis on MCH and health promotion services to reduce the disease burden and enhance the health status of the local communities.
Equal in importance to the provision of primary care and hospital services will be the establishment of TNTH as a preeminent teaching facility for Karen State. As of September 2017, TNTH has already hosted trainings for Community Health Workers (CHW) and Medics. The hospital was designed to serve as a model teaching facility. In addition to adequate clinical space, the TNTH campus has trainer and trainee accommodations. It is envisioned that TNTH will train the full spectrum of the primary care and secondary hospital workforce.
The total annual TNTH operating budget is USD$300,000. This is inclusive of inpatient and outpatient services, salaries, supplies, pharmaceuticals and physical plant support.
Let’s put this in perspective:
- The number of children per thousand who die before their first birthday (2015): Myanmar 40 (Kayin State 66), Canada 5, USA 6.
- The number of women who died in childbirth per 100,000 live births: Myanmar 178, Canada 7, USA 14.
- The annual per capita cost of providing TNTH services to 20,000 people with access to basic health care services: USD$.06 per individual
How You Can Help
- $25 will pay for treatment of diarrhea diseases in children for six months - The main direct cause of death among children under 5 is diarrhea.
- $50 will pay for delivery and post-natal care for a mother and baby - Pregnancy-related deaths are the leading cause of mortality among women of reproductive age
- $75 pays the monthly salary of a Community Health Worker, who will work with patients for health promotion and disease prevention.
- $100 pays the monthly salary of a maternal and child health worker trained to assist in delivering babies
- $200 pays the salary for two medics to provide primary care for a month
- $600 pays the monthly salary of a local Nurse Midwife
- $1000 pays the monthly salary of a local doctor
- $4,000 buys the hospital's pharmaceuticals and medical supplies for a month