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Life and Healthcare in Myanmar (Burma)

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City hall of Yangon in Myanmar

City hall of Yangon in Myanmar. Photo: Colegota.


By Sawan, November 24, 2010 – For some products and services in Myanmar, it’s mentioned that the particular products and service industries are ISO certified, but it never mentioned that the ISO certified is from which country and the registration number of the ISO certification. May be, it is a kind of fraud. All sort of frauds are quite common in Myanmar. May be, the ISO certified products or service industry in Myanmar are fake or the ISO certified certificate is issued by some countries which are especially friendly with the dictatorship government of Myanmar.

Some laboratories for example, it mentioned beside the name of the lab that it is of International Standard and some labs’ name even is written as “World Standard”. It is very misery for the patients or the people to understand clearly whether the words “International Standard or World Standard” refer to the name of the lab or it refers to the quality of the lab. If it refers to the quality of the lab, it is recommended or approved by which government?

That kind of words is 100% fraud to the patients or people in Myanmar because people or the patients get very high inspiration to enter it because they know no better. That kind of labs, products, service industry, etc are neither recognized by ISO Swiss certified group, INGO, etc nor even comparable to the ASEAN countries’ standard.

It is no wonder that some businessmen in Myanmar dare to do such frauds under Than Shwe administration. May be some of the Military dictatorship Than Shwe government officials also are entitle to achieve World recognized honorable doctorate degree specializing in fraudulent.

Many laboratories in Myanmar are not actually doing the laboratory exams, but just wrote down the result off hands. Do you know how serious it is? Surgeons and Physicians have to treat the patients depending on the pathologist’s report. Life is very cheap in Myanmar.

One cancer patient in Myanmar for example, was sent to a famous special clinic in Yangon (Rangoon) and underwent operation by a famous surgeon. After the operation, instead of giving Chemo therapy and Radiation therapy, the surgeon gave a particular medication and said to the patient that it is the latest treatment.

The doctor also quoted as saying to the patient that there is no need to give chemo therapy and radiation therapy. The patient needs to take the medication given by the doctor and that is enough or it can cure the serious decease like cancer. What is the outcome? The patient has to suffer a lot and his/her life is much shorter or he/she is dying with terrible pains.

Do you think the doctor take any responsible? Nothing! No medical ethic at all. What kind of country it is? What a ridicule it is? Even animal life in any developed country is much higher or more valuable compared to the life of people in Myanmar. Almost all hospitals and clinics in Myanmar do not have any treatment efficiency.

Many people who live in the villages of Myanmar cannot afford to pay for the medication and hospital fee. Although there are many bridges and roads, etc, transportation throughout the Myanmar is not at all dependable especially in many villages.

Many village people has insufficient budget so that they do not even have a chance to know about their health condition (no proper routine medical check-ups. Example: Blood Sugar, High Blood Pressure, etc) or never been to any clinic (including dental clinic) or any hospital throughout their life.

In Thailand for example, poor people can get a free of charge for medication as well as for medical treatments. Thai government even provides health care to the alien workers. Foreign worker needs to pay only Baht. 30 to get all necessary medication and the medical treatments in the government hospital.

Many doctors or medical staff in Myanmar still using the outdated glass-syringes, but never boil it properly or not hygiene so that it is very dangerous. Due to insufficient quantity of disposal syringes, HIV virus and other infected virus can easily spread out.

There is no health insurance in Myanmar. There is no credit card or ATM (Automatic Teller Machine) outlet throughout in Myanmar so that each and every patient has to bring a pile of Myanmar currency to the hospitals for their medical check-ups or undergo surgery. If they don’t have a pile of money, they have no other choice, but to die.

The old ready-made garments business is available in Yangon and it is quite popular in the provinces of Myanmar. Old clothes are not safe or hygiene enough. It may bring some kind of infected disease like V.D. (Venereal Diseases; Example: Syphilis, Gonorrhea, etc).

Many people may not have knowledge about infected diseases like B Hepatitis, C Hepatitis, etc and virus like TB, HIV, etc because of the poor education system in Myanmar or due to lack of schooling. Many people who are living in the villages of Myanmar or the people who are even living in the cities may not have good medical knowledge so that they are not afraid of anything.

Prostitution system in Myanmar is very poor and dangerous. Although it is said to be illegal in Myanmar, people can get prostitutes mostly in the “Beauty Saloons” which run by the wives of the high military officials. The glass doors of all the beauty salons are fully covered with black stickers so that outsiders cannot look into the salons. Many beauty salons are available in all over Yangon, but the owners do not provide any regular medical check-ups to their sex workers. The sex workers do not have a proper health-care.

Government of Myanmar drives out all HIV patients who are living in South Dagon in Yangon. There are about 80 HIV patients living there. After the Nobel peace prize winner and the opposition leader Aung San Su Kyi visited there, the military dictatorship government of Myanmar drives out all HIV patients there. The target date is November 25, 2010 given the reason that the center is not hygiene.

Government is helpless so that all hospitals in Yangon have to depend on their own generator for electricity. Do you know how important of the electricity in the hospitals’ operation theater and almost all medical equipments?

Electricity is essential in modern days. People need electricity everywhere. Electricity is needed not only in hospitals, but it also needed in constructions, schools, companies, factories, houses, traffic lights, air ports, bus terminals, train stations, etc.

Fishermen in Myanmar
Fishermen, in Inle Lake, Myanmar. Photo: Justin Blethrow.

The Electricity and the General Developments in Myanmar (Burma)

The dictatorship government of Myanmar brags that the Union of Myanmar is developed and prosperous very much under their rule, but it does not even have enough outdated ordinary trains which used in early 20th Century. It does not have enough decent roads, trains, ships, etc. Transportation in Myanmar is very poor condition compared to the neighboring countries like China, Thailand, etc.

Metered taxis in Yangon never go by meter for any passenger. Passengers must bargain the price. Many vehicles do not have a chance to buy enough petrol, diesel, etc even after the privatization. Many taxis do not have decent condition (Example: body, engine, seats, etc). At Dagon Ayeyar highway bus terminal, you can see the words “arrival time must not be asked” in Myanmar (Burmese) language posted in every bus. You cannot see this word elsewhere in the world.

Myanmar is one of the poorest countries in the World so that you can see all the characteristics of the poor country in Myanmar –In Yangon and more in the poor provinces. The second-hand, third-hand, fourth-hand business markets for automobiles, garments, furniture, etc. New products are also available, but cheap quality with cheap price imported from China otherwise it cannot be affordable for many local people in Myanmar.

Many businessmen in Myanmar do many imitation local made products and some high officials involved in the business as shareholders. They have no business ethic at all. Example: Johnnie Walker Whisky, imported beer, wine, brandy, etc. They put local made whisky, brandy, etc pour into the empty bottles of the whisky, brandy, etc. That empty bottles are imported ones and of genuine product and the labels are also genuine, but the contents in the bottles are not genuine at all. So, people think that the whisky, brandy, etc and the contents in the bottles are imported or genuine ones. In fact, the contents in the bottles are just fake ones or made in Myanmar.

In some consumer products like shower cream, body lotion, shampoo, conditioner, perfume, powder, mosquito spray, etc which are mainly imported from Thailand. The bottles are of genuine, but the contents are not genuine. The content is just fake or made in Myanmar. All these fakes or imitation products can seriously effect to the health of people.

Although Myanmar is rich in natural Gas and other natural resources, the dictatorship government of Myanmar does not provide efficient electricity nationwide. The government can even export the natural Gas, but people are suffering or cannot enjoy with full electricity.

The military government brag themselves how good they are to make a lot of development in Myanmar since they coup in 1988, but people in Myanmar still have to live in the darkness without electricity. Inflation of Myanmar currency is at the peak level under the General Than Shwe administration.

Due to the poor economy, many girls have no choice to survive but turn themselves into prostitution. Unemployment rate is very high and there is very low pay in Myanmar. One cannot survive with his own wages or salary if he or she is not a vegetarian. So, how he / she can support to his / her old parents and jobless siblings? That is the main reason for increasing the bribe rate and the corruption in all social strata.

People in Nay Pyi Taw and Yadanapon cities can enjoy electricity for 24 hours long, 7 days a week. People can enjoy electricity for 24 hours a day 7 days a week in VIP area, Military officials living area, etc in Yangon (Rangoon).

The military dictatorship government of Myanmar distribute the electricity in Yangon (Rangoon) based on irregular time schedule. Sometimes, the authorities in the electric company may play the switch so that electricity is frequently off and on. That event is very bad because it can damage many electronic devices. Voltage Regulator is needed for every house because of the low voltage given by the government.

The authorities in the electric company do not put the office telephone on the right position because they avoid handle the complaints of the people when there is a lack of electricity or switching the electricity off and on frequently. There is no policy to apologize for any inconvenient events or matters produced by the military dictatorship government of Myanmar to the people of Myanmar.

Wealthy people afford to buy generator for their own, but poor people are suffering in the darkness when there is lack of electricity.

The very slow Internet connection in Yangon is totally useless especially in the Election period. The government may fear the leakage of the news to foreign countries. Many business and people of Myanmar are suffering a lot. People in Myanmar are the same as prisoners in their own country no matter living in the prison-cell or not. There is no human rights at all. People have no voice.

At any internet café in Yangon, everyone is not allowed to enter into any political post, anti-government blog posts, MSN, hotmail, yahoo groups, yahoo mail, Google groups, etc. Once entered, it said “Access denied”. All are strictly controlled by the military dictatorship government of Myanmar.

Myanmar people may need political help from foreign countries or may need military forces from foreign countries to drive out all the military dictatorship government officials. The non-violence fight for democracy and all the peace talks of the Nobel prize winner and the opposition leader Aung San Su Kyi is great and it is effective a lot in civilized countries, but it may not effect at all to the dictatorship government of Myanmar.

The dictatorship military government of Myanmar even opened the gun-fire to the Rangoon General Hospital and the hunger-strike people in 1988. That event must be recorded in the history. It is not rumors because everyone can see the front wall of the hospital was damaged by the bullets in 1988 democracy uprising.

Article submitted by Sawan

Note: The views expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of AIT News.


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