Singapore And Myanmar Team Up To Improve Healthcare For At Least 30,000 Lives In Yangon Over The Next Three Years

The collaboration between Singapore International Foundation (SIF), Yangon General Hospital (YGH) and Singapore Health Services (SingHealth) is aimed at raising the overall quality of trauma rehabilitation care in Myanmar.

Representatives from SIF, YGH and SingHealth after signing off on Letters of Agreement to mark the launch of the Comprehensive Trauma Rehabilitation Care Project.

Held on 31 August 2018, the launch of the Comprehensive Trauma Rehabilitation Care project marks the first collaboration among all three partners. The three-year healthcare training project is expected to impact at least 30,000 patient lives in Yangon. It is in response to the heavy demand for trauma care from traffic accidents, falls, and work-related injuries. Such injuries typically make up a sizeable portion of hospital admissions in Myanmar. For instance, there is a daily average of 30 trauma-related admissions and an average bed-occupancy of 200 patients in YGH’s Trauma Unit each day.

A specialist team of Singapore International Volunteers (SIV), comprising doctors, nurses and allied health professionals from SingHealth, will work closely with Myanmar healthcare professionals from YGH and other participating hospitals to develop a skills-upgrading programme as well as a comprehensive system for trauma rehabilitation care.

Representatives from SIF, YGH and SingHealth gather together for a group photo to mark the launch of the Comprehensive Trauma Rehabilitation Care Project.

Professor Dr Khin Myo Hla, Head of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Yangon General Hospital, said: “It’s an exciting time for us because all of us have worked hard towards this common goal. Improving the quality of trauma care is crucial given the heavy demand for patients with traumatic injuries in Myanmar. Seeing today’s launch is great, it feels like our dreams have come true and we are truly appreciative of the support given to us by SIF and SingHealth.

Dr Khin added that she and her colleagues looked forward to the sharing of knowledge and exchange of expertise with their Singaporean friends.

“The friendships built between Singapore and Myanmar through this program are also very important as it brings us all together and better understand each other’s perspectives,” she said.

Dr Lim Su-Fee, Advanced Practice Nurse (Rehabilitation), SingHealth, said: “We look forward to exchanging ideas with our Myanmar friends and building capacity in terms of trauma rehabilitation skills. For instance, while nurses specialising in rehabilitation may not be common here, those skillsets are something we hope to contribute towards to. I’m also very impressed by the Myanmar’s strong culture of family support so we are looking to further develop capabilities among these caregivers as well.

“Through my interactions with Myanmar healthcare practitioners, I’ve found them to be positive and cheerful with a can-do spirit. They are able to exude warmth in their interactions with patients even though they are all very busy – this is something I find personally inspiring. I hope this project can help spark off more collaborations between Singapore and Myanmar in other healthcare areas in time to come.”

Ms Jean Tan, SIF Executive Director, said in her opening address at the launch: “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.”

The SIVs will train up to 180 healthcare professionals in Myanmar and from this pool identify 60 master trainers, who will in turn train other Myanmar healthcare professionals, building up the professional capacity of the wider healthcare community in Myanmar.

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