Two National Level Consultative Workshops Organized in Myanmar for Development of National Strategic Plan on NCDs (2017-2021)

Non-communicable Diseases (NCDs) are silent killers and they are becoming major public health problem in Myanmar. As per the World Health Organization, around 59% deaths in Myanmar are occurring due to NCDs. The prevalence of NCDs is increasing in Myanmar because of changing scenario of environmental, behavioral and biological factors. In the increasingly globalized world, the life style of people is changing very fast, people are eating more unhealthy food, they are doing less physical activity and smoking and harmful consumption of alcohol is increasing sharply.

1st workshop on NSAP developmentIn order to address NCDs with a comprehensive multi-sectoral approach, a National Strategic Action Plan on NCDs (2017-2021) is being developed. HelpAge International Myanmar office is supporting the Ministry of Health and Sports for developing the NSAP on NCDs through a thorough consultative process. In this process, HelpAge International and its partners in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Sports organized two national consultative workshops in Nay Pyi Taw on 16th and 17th February and 21st and 22nd March 2017.

The objective of the first workshop was to develop a framework for the national strategic action plan and discuss about the current status of NCDs, interventions for addressing in Myanmar, the current gaps and challenges for addressing NCDs. Based on the discussions in the first workshop a draft national strategic action plan was developed. The objective of the second workshop was to discuss this draft national strategic plan and get feedback and further inputs from the concerned stakeholders.  

Both workshops were attended by senior government officials from the Ministry of Health and Sports, Department of Public Health, Department of Medical Services, Department of Medical Research, Department of Finance, Department of Education, Health Literacy and Education Unit, NCD Unit, WHO, UNFPA, HelpAge International, Representatives from University of Public Health, University of Medicine 2, other Medical Universities, INGOs, NGOs and professional associations from Myanmar.

Sessions were held in both workshops on advocacy and leadership for multi-sectoral action, health promotion, health systems strengthening and surveillance, monitoring, evaluation and research on NCDs. Based on the deliberations in both workshops a national strategic action plan on NCDs for Myanmar is being developed with core values of equity, inclusiveness, accountability, efficiency and sustainability. The overarching principles of this national strategic action plan would be geographical representation, primary health care, decentralized planning, systems approach, community engagement, multi-sectoral action, life-course approach, evidence based strategies, universal health coverage and balance between population-based and individual approaches.