Myanmar, a hardy people


Underdevelopment of the economy of a country coupled with low standards of living and lack of proper healthcare can shorten the expected lifespan of its people. According to the World Health Organization, approximately 1.2 billion people live in extreme poverty which forces them to live without decent shelter, clean water or adequate sanitation. Myanmar is a country fresh on its path of economic development and while it is not enjoying rapid development, the healthcare and living standards of her people are not dropping either.
The word Myanmar can be separated into two separate words with their own meaning. “Myan” roughly means fast and “mar” is tough or hard. True to this literal translation, Myanmar citizens are a swift and hardy people with great resilience and immune systems.
Many countries put emphasis on the environment their food was procured, the nutritional value of combinations of food, and other criteria when planning their diet. Myanmar people are not picky when it comes to food and usually eat in moderation. However, their immune system is as sturdy as their name implies.
Current efforts by the government in elevating the standard of living for the people have had increased success compared to previous years. Yet, there is no denying that rural areas are lagging far behind in development compared to urban quarters and this is why most initiatives on healthcare give priority to rural development.
The Ministry of Health and Sports is working on care for mother and infants in rural areas. In the 30 December 2015 published version of The National Strategic Plan for Social Protection, there is a scheme for providing financial support to mothers and infants 2 years and under and this scheme has begun implementation in Chin and Rakhine State, and Naga Self-Administrative Zone.
Many rural areas do not yet understand the importance of healthcare for infants since they need proper nutritional support for healthy brain development. Raising awareness of this crucial fact among mothers is one of the things the ministry is doing and they also regularly conduct vitamin supplementation programs for children. This is an important factor for the future of the country and something that both health departments and agencies like the Maternal and Child Welfare Association should provide regularly.
The average life expectancy for men in Myanmar is 60.2 years while Myanmar’s women have an average expectancy of 69.3 years. We need to adopt more health-conscious lifestyles, and more development of medical treatments and drugs to extend our life expectancy. But more importantly, we need first to ensure our children are subject to adequate nutritional health support to grow into healthy and capable adults that will lead the next generation.

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