Myanmar Country Profile

2016 United Nations Human Development Index: 145th of 188 countries
Population: 53.9 million
Life Expectancy: 66.1 years
Male Life Expectancy: 64 years
Female Life Expectancy: 68.2 years
Birth Rate: 16.5 births/1,000 population
Death Rate: 8.25 deaths/1,000 population (2015)
Maternal Mortality Rate: 178 deaths/100,000 live births
Infant Mortality Rate: 39.5 deaths/1,000 live births

Overall Health Concerns

Despite recent improvements in some indicators, the health status of the Myanmar people remains of concern with noteworthy differences in health and nutrition, depending on where they live. The country has a young population with 28.2 per cent under 15 years of age, an estimated life expectancy at birth of 60-64 years and an under-five mortality rate of 77.77/1,000 live births (Reference: Health in Myanmar 2010) . There is limited information on the causes of child morbidity, though acute respiratory infections, diarrhoea, malnutrition and malaria are believed to be among the primary causes.
Infectious diseases including malaria, tuberculosis (TB) and HIV/AIDS continue to remain a concern in Myanmar for the whole population. TB is considered a major health problem and Myanmar is one of 22 high burden countries with TB. Recent estimates suggest that 1.5% of the population become infected with tuberculosis every year, of which about 130,000 people progress to develop tuberculosis. Half of those cases are infections with positive smears, spreading the disease in the community (Ref; Health in Myanmar 2010).
Malaria also presents a significant problem with approximately 76 % of the population (7,931, 446) living in high-risk malaria areas (80 endemic townships of 15 States and Regions). National statistics confirm over 200,000 cases per year.
The prevalence of HI/AIDS has been reported to be about 0.61 per cent (387,800) of the adult population aged 15-49 years.

Access to Health Services

Health services are provided through the public and private sectors with significant numbers of the population relying on traditional medicine. Public health services are centralized at the township level. Generally this comprises a 16 to 50-bed hospital at township level, with one or two station hospitals and four or more rural health centres providing health care services for a population of 20,000-25,000 people. Mid-wives or community health workers are often the primary resource at sub-rural health clinics. The Ministry of Health is reported to have 1,123 hospitals, 1,778 rural health centres and 9,081 sub-rural health clinics throughout the country.

Disasters and Emergencies

Myanmar is vulnerable to a wide range of natural disasters. While the country’s coastal regions are particularly exposed to cyclones, tropical storms and tsunamis, rainfall induced flooding, is a recurring phenomenon across the country. Additionally, the whole country is at risk from earthquakes, droughts and fires while the country’s mountainous regions are also exposed to landslide risks.
Cyclone Nargis in May 2008 has been by far the most devastating natural disaster in the history of the country, which brought into focus the extremely high vulnerability of communities to natural hazards. The relatively low level of casualties caused by Cyclone Giri in 2010 with 45 people compared with Cyclone Nargis where 140,000 people lost their lives is partly attributed to advances in early warning and disaster preparedness in recent years. The Government focal point for Disaster Preparedness and Response is the Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement (MSWRR).