FILM: Myanmar - Awaiting Change
NAIROBI, 9 August 2012 (IRIN) - For decades, Myanmar’s military rulers spent less on their citizens’ health - just US$2 per capita in 2010 - than almost any other country in the world.
As a result, the country has suffered from a chronic shortage of drugs, medical supplies, equipment and nurses.
In a country where 70 percent of the 58-million-strong population lives outside of urban areas, most villages lack basic healthcare, so when people get sick they often have to walk for hours to reach pubic hospitals or clinics.
In some places NGOs and monasteries try to fill the gap, but needs are far too great to be fully met.
Amid a transition from military to quasi-civilian rule, officials have announced a quadrupling of the national health budget and a programme of hospital renovation.
But, as IRIN’s latest film, Myanmar: Awaiting Change
, shows, tangible improvements in healthcare take a lot longer than political reforms.
Read more: Myanmar - Health snapshot
Health & Nutrition,
[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]