() (Kyaw Myiint)

Myanmar health system like every health system in the world is trying to improve the health status and prolong the lives of its citizens. In fact health care system is only one component of the factors determining health. Human health is determined not only by contact with the microbes and toxins that directly cause illness or by organ system failures, but also by other biological and social factors. Health is strongly influenced by socioeconomic factors, demographic trends and environmental factors. In this age of changing climatic and environmental conditions some negative consequences like disasters, natural or manmade, have taken the attention of global health leaders as more human health and lives have been damaged or endangered in the recent wake of earthquakes, cyclones and floods in some part of the world.

There are evidences that countries responding effectively to unexpected disasters can resume activities far faster than those without mechanisms for risk reduction or preparedness. Investing in risk reduction measures constitutes a critical component of development. Disaster reduction should be a key element of national strategies for meeting the MDGs since it is integral to development. The cyclone Nargis, the gravest natural disaster the country experienced in its history hit Myanmar in May 2008. Loss of lives and properties were devastating. Under the leadership of the Head of State and with collaborative and coordinated efforts of the international and national organizations, adequate health care could be provided for the victims and disease out breaks could be prevented. The emergency relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction tasks were smooth and successful. We were able to provide adequate health care for the disaster victims and prevent disease outbreaks. Funds provided by the government, donations by the people, cooperation of the local companies and relief aids of international organizations were instrumental in the rehabilitation process.

The event highlighted the fact that it is important to be prepared at national, provisional and community levels to reduce the risk when a national disaster occurs. As communities are usually the first affected in an emergency when life-lines and access to the rest of the world are often cut off they must be self reliant in responding. One of the biggest challenges in disaster management is incorporating coordinated and efficient emergency preparedness and response mechanisms between different levels of health administrations. Effective disaster management plans require involvement of every level of administration, particularly townships and local communities. In order to respond appropriately and immediately to a disaster certain flexibility should be considered within plans for autonomous decision and resource allocation at various levels. Ensuring that communities are engaged in developing emergency preparedness and response efforts is a key issue. In conformity with the National Health Policy and under the guidance of the State, we will keep on collaborating with partners both national and international, to be prepared and responsive to any emergency situations threatening and damaging health and lives of the people.

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    ()   (Kyaw Myiint)
 

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