Health & Nutrition

Helping children stay healthy and well-nourished

 

Lifesaving medicines to treat common childhood illnesses

© UNICEF MYANMAR /2012/Myo Thame
Tin Tin Hmway receives Oral Rehydration Solution and Zinc tablets to treat her son’s diarrhea at the Pakaryi Rural Health Centre in Dawei Township.

By Sandar Linn

Dawei, Myanmar, May 2012:  Soon as Tin Tin Hmway realized that her younger son is suffering from diarrhoea, she ran to the Pakaryi Rural Health Centre to ask for professional help where she also knew she could get medicines free of charge.

Tin Tin Hmway, 28, is a mother of two and lives in Darr Thway Kyauk village of Dawei Township, a few metres away from the Pakaryi Rural Health Centre.

On her arrival at the Health Centre with her two year old son, Tin Tin Hmway explained the child’s condition to the attending health staff. The health staff gave her Oral Rehydration Solution (ORS), zinc tablets and some explained the instructions on how to use them.

“It is a blessing to receive health care support with good quality medicines for our children at no cost, immediately and easily,” said Tin Tin Hmway.

Another visitor to the health cetnre, Aye Khaing, who received antibiotics to treat pneumonia for her two year old son, also agreed that it eases burdens on families in seeking health care.

“In the past, we had no choice but to turn to local quacks for treatment of common childhood illnesses such as diarrhoea and pneumonia. The medicines they gave cost about 3000 to 5000 Kyats, about two day in wages for a day laborer and thus difficult to afford for many in the villages,” explained Aye Khaing.

The Pakaryi Health Centre and its five midwives cover 24 widely spread villages in Dawei Township. The services include antenatal care, assisted delivery and child immunization, and provision of lifesaving medicines for young children.

“As the Centre is now equipped to provide a range of health services especially for pregnant women and children, the trust between the Centre and community has increased,” said Daw Yi Yi Aye, Lady Health Visitor at the Pakaryi Health Centre.

“With improved services, we are better able to mobilize and engage communities to seek health care services. We hold health talks regularly at the Centre and we also for special events and immunization campaigns,” she added.

Daw Yi Yi Aye further mentioned that even though mothers came to consult health staff at the Centre, the health staff could not offer them medicines in the past.

Funding support from UNICEF Germany contributed to make available these life-saving medicines both at first level and referral level health facilities. The medicines are supplied in Kit A and Kit B. Kit A contains ORS for diarrhoea and antibiotics for pneumonia for community through Rural and Sub-rural Health Centres and Kit B provides injectable medicines for use at the hospital level to treat more serious cases.

With the contribution from Government of Germany, UNICEF provided 15,219 Kit A and 1,276 Kit B to 200 Townships, providing mothers like Tin Tin Hmway with local access to lifesaving medicines for their children.

 

 
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