U.S. Ambassador Scot Marciel met hundreds of nursing students, midwives, and skilled birth attendants during a visit to the Midwifery Training School in Taunggyi, which is supported by the U.S. government through the Access to Health Fund, according to a statement.
Ambassador Marciel toured the school with local officials and encouraged nurses, midwives, and skilled birth attendants to take a leadership role in engaging service providers, “ranging from community-based groups to Ethnic Health Organizations, to ensure all women and children receive lifesaving services.” He recognized the Ministry of Health and Sports for committing to achieve universal health coverage by 2030 and thanked Deputy Director General of Maternal and Child Health, Dr. Myint Myint Than, for joining him “to demonstrate our two countries’ shared commitment to saving lives at birth.”
Access to Health’s partner Jhpiego supports training at the school for quality maternal and child health services. The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is one of four bilateral donors to the $215 million Access to Health Fund, which works to extend access to health services to vulnerable populations in conflict-affected townships throughout Shan State and all other states.
Ambassador Marciel toured the training centre with Dr. Myint Myint Than as well as State Health Director, Shan State Department of Health, Dr. Thuzar Chit Tin, the Regional President for Shan South of the Myanmar Nurses and Midwives Association, Daw Hnin Wai, the Principal of Midwifery Training School in Taunggyi, Daw Haymar Soe Win, and Dr. Aye Yu Soe, a former Humphrey Fellow who is the Access to Health Fund program director.
Dr. Aye Yu Soe said, “We are grateful to the support of the Ministry of Health and Sports, led here in Southern Shan State by Dr. Thuzar Chit Tin, who is a strong advocate for improved collaboration and coordination between health staff at all levels, for all organizations. The only way we will be able to reach everyone, in line with the country’s goal to achieving universal health coverage by 2030, is by working together.”
In addition to Jhpiego, Access to Health activities in Shan State are also implemented by Relief International and Marie Stopes International. Jhpiego previously implemented USAID’s Maternal and Child Survival Program and is currently implementing the USAID Essential Health activity, part of USAID’s $134 million health program in Myanmar.