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From May 2017, the Polish Medical Mission has been running a project named "Myanmar - obstetric, educational, medical and WASH activities in the Irrawaddy Delta region". This is the second PMM project in this region, which constitutes an answer for the needs of the poor farming and fishing community. Many parts of the delta can be reached only by boat. The high perinatal mortality rate of women and infants is a very big problem. The assumptions of the project are based on medical interviews, which were carried out by PMM in 2016 with 1,200 patients in the region.
In the first stage, implemented in the period of May-December 2017:
- Polish midwives, Anna Siedlik and Monika Nowicka, and the WASH (Water and Sanitation for Health) specialist, Małgorzata Olasińska-Chart, conducted trainings for 90 midwives
- we conducted training for pregnant women in the field of reproductive health, childbirth, neonatal care and prevention of hepatitis B and C and HIV, as well as of healthy lifestyle and nutrition during pregnancy
- the PMM volunteers, paediatrician Jacek Szewczyk, gynaecologist Beata Kapusta and infectious diseases specialist Milena Dorosz, visited 9 rural medical centres in the Wakema Township district; in each centre pregnant women and children were examined - a total of over 1,000 patients
- we financed the construction of a health centre where midwives regularly see patients; also other patients are admitted to the centre - an average of 1,600 months.
The next stage of the project, which we implement in 2018, involves expanding WASH activities. In regions with particularly difficult sanitary situations, where the local population draws drinking water directly from the river, we are going to install water treatment systems or provide access to groundwater.
Educational activities in this part of the project will be directed primarily to children of school age, to increase their awareness of the principles of hygiene and prevention of diseases. We plan to organise workshops for 300 children. Moreover, about 600 children who underwent the hepatitis B vaccination last year will receive a third dose of the vaccine.
We will also continue our activities in the Wakema hospital, the largest centre in the region (50 beds) and the only one where Caesarean sections and other surgical procedures can be carried out. First of all, it will involve trainings, conducted by a surgeon and an anaesthesiologist from Poland, regarding surgical techniques and principles of anaesthesia, as well as methods of preventing hospital infections. The hospital will also be equipped with professional surgical and anaesthetic equipment for the operating theatre: anaesthetic apparatus, operating table, operating lights, patient transport trolley, surgical accessories made of stainless steel, as well as anaesthetic cardiomonitor.