Non-Communicable Diseases and Mental Health

Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) feature in the detailed work plans of WHO-Ministry of Health collaborative programme for the biennium 2006-2007:

  • snakebite,
  • cancer,
  • cardiovascular diseases,
  • diabetes,
  • blindness,
  • deafness.

WHO Myanmar mainly focuses its support to advocacy and technical assistance. There are programme managers for each of the non-communicable diseases and one overall NCD focal point in the Department of Health.

Traditional Medicine

Traditional medicines play a considerable role at the community level. It is important to upgrade the quality and practice as well as to standardize the various traditional medicine drugs. WHO Myanmar is providing technical assistance to national traditional medicine programme for the following areas:

  • capacity building of traditional medicine practitioners;
  • strengthening quality assurance of drugs;
  • research studies on traditional medicine.


In Myanmar, political commitment and multi-sectoral collaboration for tobacco control -- and increasing community awareness on hazards of tobacco use -- have led to the implementation of tobacco control measures. WHO Myanmar continues to provide assistance to:

  • develop a national strategic plan of action for tobacco control;
  • establish a surveillance system of tobacco use and information;
  • build capacity and undertake research on priority areas of tobacco use.

Mental health care

  • Providing at least minimum services for mental disorders to the community, in the community, using existing health care delivery system.
  • Providing translated psychosis identifying questionnaires (PIQ).
  • Providing training to basic health staff (BHS) and other health care providers to elicit psychoses.
  • Epilepsy
  • Providing training to health care providers for identification of major fits.
  • Providing training to qualified medical practitioners for management of epilepsy according to relevant WHO SEARO training manuals.
  • Undertaking a stigma removal campaign by using audiovisuals, and giving group-wise health education talks in rural health centres.

Violence, Injuries and Disabilities

Injury prevention is a key for promotion of safe communities. WHO Myanmar is providing technical support to strengthen capacity for multi-sectoral interventions to prevent violence and unintentional injuries. Some examples of WHO Myanmar support in this area are:

  • establishing surveillance system for injuries;
  • training of health professionals, factory owners, managers and workers in accident prevention;
  • improving technical capacity of health workers, NGOs and communities for community based rehabilitation.

Health and environment

Collaborative efforts cover selected aspects of environmental and occupational health, water and sanitation, as well as support for the national poison control centre. Strengthening monitoring of, and training in, selected areas of environmental risks and occupational safety will be a key endeavour in this regard.