The press conference on the third-year journey of the Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Defence, and the Ministry of Health and Sports answered to reporters in the Ministry of Information’s meeting hall in Nay Pyi Taw yesterday.
Ministry of Home Affairs
U Khine Tun Oo, Acting Permanent Secretary of MoHA, said the Myanmar Police Force is working in line with the changing modern system and policies of the Union Government reflected in the 22 laws concerning them. He said they have established two additional district police offices, 17 new area police stations, six new police outposts, and four new border police forces for proliferating domestic security and peace.
He said they are cooperating with INTERPOL, ASEANPOL, EUROPOL and police forces from different countries to combat transnational crimes, environmental crimes, human trafficking and other criminal activities. He said a new Myanmar-Bangladesh Border Liaison Office and a new Myanmar-China Liaison Office were opened in the incumbent government’s third year in office in addition to 13 other Border Liaison Offices with other neighboring countries.
The Ministry of Home Affairs set 11 directives across the country and handled 2,383 cases of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances and arrested 3,339 suspects. They have opened 510 cases against human trafficking with The Anti Trafficking in Persons Law, arrested 1,458 suspects and rescued 889 people trafficked.
The Bureau of Special Investigation handled 528 cases handed by the Ministry of Home Affairs, cases handled as members of subnational investigation groups, and cases handed over by the Central Control Board on Money Laundering in the third-year. They investigated 136 economic crimes and 159 staff actions that went against the law.
The Correctional Department constructed two prisons and two lock-ups and expanded three prisons and a lock-up to address the crowded space of inmates. Authorities allotted K975 for each prison inmate and K1,000 for each lock-up inmate a day while increasing trip fees for released inmates to K35 per mile they had to return home and K1,000 per day for food.
Insein, Mandalay and Tharrawaddy prisons each received a 50-bed hospital for treating inmates and Insein Prison received a tuberculosis treatment center as well.
104 inmates took the matriculation exam in 2017-2018 academic year with 43 male and 4 female inmates passing the exam while 5 passed with three distinctions, 5 passed with two distinctions and 18 passed with one distinction. There were 171 inmates taking the matriculation exam for 2018-2019 academic year.
The prisons also arranged for inmates to receive distance university education. In the 2018-2019 academic year, 15 inmates were able to take the exam for the first year of their major, 8 for their second year, 4 for their third year, and one for their fourth year.
The Department of Fire Service inspected 6,831 high-rise buildings for construction and submitted K13,144,551 to the Union Government from their services.
The department also received Euro 50 million in Official Development Assistance from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development and acquired 75 modern fire engines, rescue vehicles and assistance vehicles in addition to other equipment and apparatuses. They also sent domestic firefighters to firefighter academies in Poland to receive extensive trainings and capacity building.
Ministry of Defence
Permanent Secretary Brig-Gen Aung Kyaw Hoe said the Ministry of Defence and United Nations Country Task Force on Monitoring and Reporting (UN CTFMR) signed an agreement on a plan of action for prevention of military recruitment of underage children on 27 June 2012 and a 13-member committee was formed. During the third one year term of the government, the government of Myanmar and UN CTFMR met twice in the Ministry of Defence and once in Yangon.
Monitoring visits were made to two infantry regiments and two non-combatant units. Multiplier courses on preventing recruitment of children were conducted by Military Commands and were attended by 1,520 officers and 6,163 other ranks. The courses were conducted Military Command wise once every two months.
Tatmadaw personnel found to have been recruited under the age of 18 years were also released from military duty according to Tatmadaw rules and regulations. 75 were released back to their parents or guardians on 31 August 2018 and a further 32 were released back to their parents or guardians on 31 March 2019.
To prevent enlistment of under 18 years old, bone X-ray method was used to determine their ages. Using this method prevents recruitment of 1,636 under age recruits during the third one-year period. And it had prevented unusual recruitment of underaged recruits during the third one-year period.
A standing order had been issued for the Tatmadaw to respond and provide necessary assistant without waiting for any instruction or order whenever a natural disaster occurs. The Tatmadaw personnel were also undertaking tough trainings like other militaries as instructed by the Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services in order to respond to any dangers including natural disaster that may befall on the country and its citizens.
Whenever national calamities like fire, storm, flood and inundation, earthquake etc. strikes in Myanmar, Tatmadaw provides timely rescue and rehabilitation works while families of Tatmadaw personnel also provide victims with cash, foods and consumer goods.
Tatmadaw provide security and helped evacuate 214 households to safety when there was a fire outbreak in nine states and regions. They also helped clear four monasteries and 46 houses and provided relief assistance worth K4.9 million. Tatmadaw also provided security and helped evacuate 979 households, cleared six monasteries and 96 houses in a fire outbreak in eleven states and regions while relief assistance worth more than K2.6 million was provided.
When there was a collapse of a spillway in Bago Region, a train was left stranded by overflowing waters. Tatmadaw transported 50 train personnel and 1,209 passengers between Bago Region Yedashe Town and Swa Railway Station by 18 City Buses. Debris and silts covering a school was also cleared as well as affected roads.
Furthermore during 2019 a total of 302 students from University for Development of National Races (Ywathitgyi) were given basic military training at UTCs. Arrangements were made to provide basic military trainings to students from Degree College for Development of National Races (Yangon and Sagaing) during academic year 2018-2019. From 2015 to date a total of 9,460 students from these education institutes were provided with basic military trainings.
Ministry of Health and Sports
Permanent Secretary Prof. Dr. Thar Htet Khine Win said the Ministry of Health and Sports appointed 3,988 new doctors, 516 dentists, 5,681 nurses, 3,005 midwives, 930 nurses, 2,408 medical experts, 381 assistant health officers, and 3,000 public health administrators (2) in the third year of the incumbent government.
MoHS expanded 21 station hospitals, 8 upgrades, 71 rural health departments and 20 branch departments with revised organizational structures.
He said they are only at 55% of the permitted workforce. MoHS hired around 10,000 more community health workers from nurses to mid-wives to hospital managers. Around 1000 more hospitals got additional beds, totaling up to 55,266 new beds along with 200 more additional community health centers/clinics built across the country.
There were also 10,377 rooms built in the 2018-19 financial year to house our staff as well as plans to build more. The healthcare budget was increased when the new civilian government took over – the budget is currently K944 billion from the Union Government, K152 billion from international entities as well as K35.5 billion set to be loaned. From the budget, around K164 billion has been set to buy medical equipment and medicines.
Within 2018 alone, the public hospitals treated 3 million in-patients and 12 million out-patients with 760,000 surgeries operated. The community health centers/clinics in villages had an additional 14 million people seeking consultation and treatment. Every month, the centers/clinics provide care and guidance for 70,000-80,000 mothers.
MoHS also opened a fertility center in the Central Women’s Hospital and successfully birthed the first test tube baby on 12 June 2018. The Ministry also spent K420 million to install a state-of-the-art tele-radiology X-ray machines in 3 townships in Mon State. If the budget allows, MoHS will install these machines in Kachin and Kayah as well since these are really useful for people who live far from such facilities.
MoHS has documented 99 kidney transplants, 33 heart transplants, 1 child heart transplant, 2,076 open heart surgeries, 12,983 cardiac cath labs, 1,077 brain and neurosurgeries, and 11 bone marrow transplants in the 3rd one-year period.
For HIV/AIDS, the Ministry was able to supply 166,121 patients with Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) available in 272 townships across the country. Additionally, the ministry was able to test 1 million expectant mothers in 2018 for AIDS/HIV in an effort to prevent mother to child infections. Thanks to the public hospitals and clinics across the country, 135,435 TB patients were treated free-of-charge with 87% success rate. There are also 55 methadone dispensaries for drug users with plans to build 14 more.
Vaccination programs for infants are also in full force with 11 types of vaccines distributed around the country. The Union spends around US$6.7 million every year to buy the necessary shots and is aiming for 100% coverage (we are currently at 80-90%).
Rabies is also another priority. The ministry spent over K14 billion within the past three years for vaccine shots and treated almost 190,000 people who have been bitten. This significantly lowered death by rabies to 70 people in 2018 from 99 in 2016. Field Epidemiology Training Programs – FETP are also being held for public health workers and epidemiologists for practical training in preventing communicable diseases.
Afterwards, the officials replied to questions from the media. — Tun Nanda Kyaw (Translated by Zaw Htet Oo)