France Myanmar Cooperation in the fight against HIV and other infectious diseases
PRESS RELEASE - 20th of March 2014
Professor Odile Picard from Saint Antoine Hospital in Paris, one of the most eminent French specialists in diagnosis and treatment of HIV and other infectious diseases, has been active in support of the development of national capacities in response of the booming of AIDS prevalence in Myanmar since 1996. As of today, more than 200 000 people live with HIV in the country.
The partnership that Professor Picard has set up with her Myanmar counterparts since nearly 20 years, is not only highly instrumental in the treatment of disease but also exemplar.
It is highly instrumental because it consists in building Myanmar capacities trough annual training of doctors from Myanmar public Hospitals in the best HIV units of hospitals in Paris. Since 1996, 14 HIV and infectious disease specialists from Yangon and Mandalay have been trained in France, and they are now the backbone of the Myanmar operational response capacity to HIV and other infectious diseases.
It is also exemplar because this training fully addresses the practical needs of local young doctors. 100 % of these 14 doctors trained have successfully qualified and received a diploma recognized by the French Government.
The cooperation set up by Professor Picard is now usefully covered by an institutional cooperation agreement between the University of Medicine of Yangon and Pierre et Marie Curie University of Paris which was signed last July. A copy of this agreement was officially remitted to the authorities of the University of Medicine of Yangon during a ceremony organized by the French Embassy on the 20th of March 2014.
This crucial step forward marks undoubtedly the beginning of a broader partnership between France and Myanmar in the fight against HIV and infectious diseases.
France considers health sector as a priority of its cooperation in Myanmar. The total of financing allocated to health sector will reach 14 millions US Dollars in 2014 through the fight against the 3 pandemics, research activities, hospital cooperation in various fields, and notably cardiac surgery in Mandalay, and non governmental cooperation. Prestigious health institutions such as Institut Pasteur and Fondation Mérieux have started recently their first activities in collaboration with public laboratories in Yangon and Mandalay, which is very promising.
Finally, French Minister of Health and Social Welfare has also officially invited the Union Minister of Health to France. This visit scheduled during this spring will be another opportunity to deepen the bilateral cooperation in the health sector.