1995 was the first year of NLR‘s involvement in Myanmar when NLR signed an agreement with the Ministry of Health and the American Leprosy Missions, which maintains an office in Yangon through which the NLR support is channelled.
Support is directed to the National Leprosy Eradication Programme. The driving force of the programme are the midwives, the so called ‘red angels’, who identify cases, refer them and ensure treatment compliance. Leprosy is endemic in Myanmar and priority will need to be given to disease control activities for several years to come. A large proportion patients suffer from permanent nerve damage and remain disabled after being cured of the disease.
2012 was the first year of a new five-year three-party agreement between the above-mentioned partners. Under this agreement, the prevention of disabilities programme was expanded with the goal of reaching complete national coverage by 2015. Different training approaches were used for a number of high (10) and low endemic townships (15). In 2012, an important new programme component was added when support to the Yenanthar Leprosy Hospital in Mandalay was formulated. This hospital has great potential to develop into a general rehabilitation hospital, which NLR will further explore in 2013. The support given in 2012 consisted of some € 15,000 in materials and equipment for the orthopaedic workshop attached to the hospital.