Highlights of our 2013 Programs

1.Assistance for Ethnic Minorities

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Drama plays for promotion of environmental sanitation (Nepal)

Our programs in Myanmar and Nepal have been contributing to the improvement of the health status of ethnic minorities. In Myanmar, the Kokang self-administered Zone and Namtu Township in Shan State are the home to a number of different ethno-cultural minorities such as Kokang, Shan and Palaung. AMDA-MINDS, as part of AMDA Group, has been assisting them in remote areas of Myanmar through health and livelihood programs.
The Tarai region of Nepal along the border to India is also the home to a number of minority groups such as Madeshi, Talu and Muslims. Health education activities at a community level and upgrading of health/medical services at a facility level have led to the improvement of the health status of mothers and children in the area.

2.Empowerment of women

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Women receiving microcredit loans (Myanmar)

In Meiktila Township, located in the central dry zone of Myanmar, AMDA-MINDS has been implementing a packaged livelihood improvement program combining microfinance, health education, and agricultural training. The program targets and empowers more than 2,400 women who are currently participating in the program in 54 villages. The concept is to support women’s decisions regarding their livelihood and future. There are 2,400 different of hopes and dreams of women that are being realized through the capacity development approach.
The maternal and child health activities in Nepal and Honduras have also been promoting the women’s participation in health education and other social activities in their communities.

3.Health System Strengthening

1504_03Officers of Ministry of Health learning management of medicines (Sierra Leone).

West Africa, in particular, Sierra Leone suffered from prolonged conflicts and the public health sector was significantly affected. As a result, Sierra Leone has once recorded the highest child and maternal mortality rates. After the war, the government has taken initiatives along with the assistance from donors to improve quality of and access to primary health care services. Yet, insufficient human and financial resources and inadequate guidance and supervision system over the quality of health service delivery are still challenges, among others, resolutions for which are being worked on. AMDA-MINDS as part of a joint implementing body had entered into a contract with JICA in May 2013 and has been operating a project for strengthening supportive supervision system. The project was designed to enhance the capacity of MoHS and District Health Management Teams (DHMTs) in periodically-organized integrated supportive supervision (iSSV) so as to improve the quality of reproductive and child health services at peripheral health units (PHUs).

4.Towards Universal Health Coverage

2015_04Opening ceremony of a house for expecting mothers (Honduras).

The promotion of Universal Health Coverage is positioned as one of the visions in Japan’s Strategy on Global Health Diplomacy. According to the WHO’s definition, the goal of universal health coverage (UHC) is “to ensure that all people obtain the health services they need without suffering financial hardship when paying for them.” AMDA-MINDS has been working to increase the peoples’ access to preventive, curative and rehabilitative health services by strengthening local health systems. In Honduras, the program promoted the utilization of health facilities for pregnant women in rural areas who lived far and could not afford to come and benefit from the services. We built a house for expecting mothers next to a health center for mothers and children so that they could stay for medical examinations and childbirth at low cost.. The house provides a comfortable accommodation for pregnant women while waiting for delivery. Such intervention has improved the access to facility-based safe delivery. In Myanmar, as mentioned earlier, minority people who live in remote areas had difficulties in obtaining quality health services but are now able to enjoy benefits that health facilities can offer as a result of various health promotion activities.

5.Multi-sectoral approach

15_05Trained dairy farmers (Indonesia).

As described in the section 2 on the packaged activities in Myanmar, AMDA-MINDS addresses challenges not only in the health sector but also other social sectors. For example, our program in Sinjai Regency, South Sulawesi Province of Indonesia which started in February 2013 was designed to improve farmers’ dairy farming skills and it served as a vehicle to broaden the scope of our intervention. With the fund from the Japanese government, the program has delivered technical training for local government staff of the dairy husbandry department and members of farmers’ cooperatives, and school milk promotion, all of which will lead to both income generation and health improvement in the target area. The program is being implemented in partnership with the Sanbe-Sulawesi Friendship Center, a Japanese NGO based in Shimane Prefecture specializing in dairy husbandry. Additionally, the community members of Pakokku District of Myanmar who are in the “Healthy Village” project benefited from agricultural and husbandry training carried out in collaboration with local authorities and Japanese NGO OISCA.