19 October 2010

'Health emergency' in Myanmar

MORE than half of all deaths in violence-ravaged eastern Myanmar are from treatable illnesses, with the junta blocking access to healthcare, according to a study published on Tuesday.

A 'chronic health emergency' in the ethnic areas strung along the border with Thailand mean that 59 per cent of deaths are preventable, said the report, titled Diagnosis: Critical.

The military lets civilians bear the consequences of its fight with minority rebels in the country through insufficient investment in healthcare, conflict and humanitarian abuses, it said.

Child mortality rates are nearly double the official national figure, while maternal mortality is three times as high, according to the study by groups including the Back Pack Health Worker Team and Burma Medical Association.--Full story at The Straits Times

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