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Photo: David Ohana/UN

Health Sector Strategy in Myanmar


Merlin requested that Beechwood facilitate a 1.5 day dialogue in Yangon that contributed to the discussion of how to develop a joint health strategy for the humanitarian situation in Rakhine State. The dialogue focused specifically on how to increase health service delivery by addressing the human resources for health (HRT) challenge and expanding service coverage to a wider population.


The outbreak of conflict between Muslim Rohingya and predominantly Buddhist Rakhine in early June 2012 left approximately 100,000 people initially displaced, primarily around Sittwe but also in Northern Rakhine State. Some of these IDPs returned to their villages but there were still more than 70,000 displaced (mostly Rohingya) and more than 10,000 members of host communities in need of assistance at the time of the workshop.


There is concern that the GoUM is not neutral and has been complicit in abuses, particularly against members of the Rohingya community, and that the GoUM will see segregation as a long-term solution to inter-ethnic tension. In the dialogue of December 2012, the Health Sector reviewed lessons learned from past engagement in Rakhine and similar areas, making use of past evaluations, reflections, and perceptions data; mapped current dilemmas and intervention options for the health sector, and applied operational tools for navigating two of the main challenges.


This followed a strategy training session with some of the same aid agencies in London during September 2012, where HQ-based advisory staff who provided regular support to the Rakhine response underwent training on context analysis and collaborative decision-making. Assessments of the different agencies were shared and integrated into the decision-making exercise that examined different intervention strategies and operating models for the emerging camp situation of Rakhine State.


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