Update from Max Homan, Myanmar Country Manager
Currently there are 14 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Myanmar, however it is widely thought to be much higher and is expected to rise quickly. The contrast of living standards between city and rural, developed areas and slum zones has meant there is no decisive country-wide action, but some protective measures such as cancellations of public events and closures of schools and non-essential shops have occurred.
General day to day life is still fairly normal, but the roads are empty (it normally takes me 90+ minutes to reach our center in Hlaingthayar slum but it took only 40 minutes this morning) and the public are generally taking preventative measures like social distancing seriously. There is a growing tense atmosphere as anticipation builds to see how effective these measures have been, especially as we watch first-world developed countries struggle.
Myanmar’s public health care is considered the worst in the world (WHO, 2018) and does not have enough medical equipment or supplies to effectively confront an outbreak. Because of this, our Lotus clinic and child support program is vital to protect and help vulnerable communities who would have nowhere else to turn to.
Most embassies have insisted their residents return to their home country but we are front line workers dedicated to safely serve our communities.
What does it mean for SANNI in Myanmar?
- Both SANNI’s Lotus clinic and our child sponsorship program are still fully operational
- SANNI’s Lotus clinic is limiting the amount of patients in the waiting area and installed more cleaning and hygiene stations across the clinic
- Our Motherhouse Orphanage is protected and isolated
- A special ‘fever’ ward is being quickly built to accommodate and isolate potential cases
- We’ve sadly had to delay our Annual Fun Day Out trip with all the sponsored children. This will be done at a later date
- We are reducing and spacing out how many children and families can collect their support packages at one time
- We have reduced the sizes of our community health education sessions and prioritized hygiene education
SANNI’s programs were created to help the most vulnerable and now more than ever, we are determined to continue.