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Friday, 22 October 2010

Jo, Myanmar (Burma) - Developing a new Health Education model in rural Myanmar (Burma)

Travelling by road after heavy rain

So here I am nearing the end of my mission, when I look back to the day nearly 3 months ago when I arrived, it seems like a lifetime and yet each day seems to have sped by. I have been so busy that there really hasn’t been time to count the days.

The project aims to strengthen the existing community based health services in Pyapon Township in the Ayarawady Delta following the devastation of Cyclone Nargis in 2008 and to that end Doctors of the World has developed a co-operative working relationship with the health authorities. Together we are moving towards establishing a ‘Maternal and Child Health’ programme in our target area. Doctors of the World will be supporting the training of ‘Auxiliary Midwives’ and helping to expand child development surveillance.

I have also been developing a new Health Education model, which we piloted in four villages over my final two weeks in the field. There were some concerns about the drama that I had proposed, the topic was ‘Safe Motherhood’ and the concern was that people might be too shy to get involved. Not a bit of it! There are some very talented actors in those villages and they really enjoyed taking part. The audience were hugely entertained as well and participated enthusiastically in the discussion afterwards.

I have also designed a learning game based on ‘Snakes and Ladders’, with a few adjustments in the design of the board. (I am very good at drawing snakes now!). The pilot evaluated positively and it was lovely to see the villagers being so involved in their own education.

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