Launch of USD 3million healthcare programme in Myanmar

An event was held at the Chatrium Hotel in Yangon, on 25 – 26 September, to review the past six years of the Three Diseases Fund (3DF) working to address HIV, tuberculosis and malaria, and to launch a new USD 300 million programme “the Three Millennium Development Goals fund” (3MDG). Denmark, Norway, and Sweden are among the seven donors of the programme.

Among those attending the event were the Minister of Health, the Funds’ seven donors, the Funds’ manager, the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) and 3DF’s implementing partners.  All expressed enthusiasm to build on the experience of 3DF to develop stronger health systems and to improve the health of mothers and young children in priority areas of Myanmar.

The donors will be the same as for 3DF programme including Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Australia’s AusAID, the European Union, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development.

Speaking on behalf of the Three Diseases Fund (3DF) Board, Shaanti Sekhon from AusAID said, “3DF has provided us with a solid foundation for the future. An independent evaluation has found that 3DF reflected an impressive donor response in both scale and timing. It was the single largest contributor to address the three disease areas in Myanmar between 2007 and 2011”.

The Minister of Health, Professor Dr Pe Thet Khin, said, “The Ministry of Health greatly valued the work done by the Three Diseases Fund in the fight against HIV , TB and malaria in Myanmar since 2007. Between us, we have built a good level of trust and cooperation over these years and hope that we can continue to work well together through the Three Millennium Development Goals Fund”.

Ms. Veronique Lorenzo of the European Union and the Chair of 3MDG said, “The Fund will succeed the 3DF and build on its success. The same seven donors have decided to increase their support to health and broaden the scope of the programme to take advantage of the changes happening in Myanmar.”

Working closely with the government, the Fund intends to work on a broad strategy to increase accessibility of health to all.

“We know that maternal and child mortality is high in Myanmar and most deaths are preventable. That is why the majority of the expected US$300 million for the Fund will serve to improve delivery of essential healthcare for poor and vulnerable mothers and children,” Ms. Lorenzo said.

To combat some of the worst diseases, the 3MDG Fund will also finance HIV, TB and malaria interventions for people and in areas that have not been covered by the Global Fund.

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