Health emergency preparedness and response

State level review on EWARS in Sittwe, Rakhine State. 11 February 2019

In strengthening health emergency care services in the country, Ministry of Health & Sports established the Emergency Medical Services Training Centre at Naypyitaw. Opened in January 2019, it was followed by the First responder training course for emergency medical staff. WHO supported the training of about 330 doctors and nurses in emergency resuscitation techniques.

Further, several partners, including WHO, are supporting the health authorities to deliver essential health services in conflict affected areas. These services are provided through deployment of mobile health teams by Ministry of Health and Sports.

Strengthening early warning systems for communicable diseases is an important part of emergency preparedness as well as response. In December 2018, WHO supported central level evaluation of Early Warning, Alert & Response System (EWARS) in Naypyitaw. The review was important -- essentially to learn from two and a half years’ of pilot implementation in Rakhine State. This was followed further by state level review in Sittwe during February 2019. A key objective is to further improve the existing Early Warning, Alert & Response System, to enable implementation across different disaster-affected areas in Myanmar. It includes improved standard operating procedures and case definitions. In addition, online submission of EWARS reporting is facilitated -- which is expected to help enable timely monitoring, analysis and response.