Speech By Ms Jean Tan, SIF Executive Director, At The Launch Of The Comprehensive Trauma Rehabilitation Care Project At Yangon General Hospital, Myanmar

HE Vanessa Chan, Singapore’s Ambassador to Myanmar, 
Dr Yi Yi Myint, Rector, Senior Medical Superintendent, Yangon General Hospital,
Dr Myint Myint Aye, Medical Superintendent, Yangon General Hospital,
Professor Dr Khin Myo Hla, Head of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Yangon General Hospital,
Prof Peter Lim, Senior Consultant of Rehabilitation Medicine at Singapore General Hospital and Project Team Lead,
Our Singapore International Volunteers,
Distinguished guests, partners and friends,

Thank you for joining us at the launch of the Singapore International Foundation’s (SIF) Comprehensive Trauma Rehabilitation Care Project in Yangon this morning.

Singapore and Myanmar have enjoyed warm and positive bilateral relations for over 50 years. The SIF is pleased to have contributed to this at the people-to-people level, through international cooperation projects since 1992 that allow our communities to work together for positive change, while fostering greater inter-cultural understanding.  Today, we mark the latest collaboration between our healthcare professionals, aimed at raising the overall quality of trauma and rehabilitative care in Yangon.

Trauma, or the sudden onset of severe physical injuries requiring immediate medical attention, is a leading cause of death worldwide. According to the World Health Organisation, they account for 9% of global mortality and are a threat to health in every country of the world. The trend is similar in Myanmar where trauma injuries from traffic accidents, assaults, falls and work-related injuries form a significant percentage of hospital admissions. Many who survive their injuries suffer temporary or permanent disabilities.

The three-year Comprehensive Trauma Rehabilitation Care Project seeks to strengthen the trauma and rehabilitation care ecosystem in Myanmar –  from assessment and treatment, to the rehabilitation of patients. Over the next three years, we will work together to develop trauma rehabilitation protocols and service integration as well as upskill 180 Myanmar healthcare professionals to benefit more than 30,000 trauma patients.  From this group, a core of 60 master trainers will be selected to cascade the skills and knowledge they would have gained to their peers in the industry. Thus, building up the professional capacity of the wider healthcare community in Myanmar and ensuring the project’s sustainability.

The project will be driven by a specialist team of Singapore International Volunteers (SIV), comprising doctors, nurses and allied health professionals from SingHealth.  I wish to thank Prof Peter Lim and his team for supporting this project. For many people volunteering is about giving, but I’d say for our Singapore International Volunteers, it is a way of life. I am also grateful Prof Ivy Ng and the management of SingHealth, who has partnered SIF in seven other projects in four countries in the last four years, benefitting many!

I would also like to thank Yangon General Hospital for welcoming us to your lovely country and giving us to privilege to work alongside your people and to get to know you better. This is SIF’s third healthcare collaboration with a public health institution in Myanmar. Previously, we had collaborated with the National Health Laboratories and National Blood Center in Blood Group Serology (2007-2015), as well as the Yangon Central Women’s Hospital in Obstetrics and Gynaecology (1999-2001).

I am certain today’s launch will pave the way for more such collaborations, not just in terms of sharing knowledge and expertise but also in fostering stronger ties between our people. I look forward to seeing our new partnership and bonds blossom in the coming years. 



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