The upgrading process of Sittway General Hospital which began in 2016 is targeted to be completed next year, according to Dr. Chan Thar, Rakhine State Social Affairs Minister.
To upgrade the Sittway General Hospital from 200-bed to 500-bed hospital, a new modern four-story building that will hold 300 beds is being constructed, behind the ancient two-story building that hold 200 beds.
“The hospital’s upgrading process began in 2016-2007 FY with a budget of Ks 2800 million and was targeted to be completed in FY 2018-2019,” said Dr. Chan Thar. A total of 68 hospitals including one 500-bed hospitals, two 200-bed hospitals, four 100-bed hospitals, 25 50-bed hospitals, 16-bed hospitals and station hospitals are providing healthcare service in Rakhine State. Among the hospitals, the Sittway General Hospital plays an important role for Rakhine State.
The hospital is providing health care services to not only the patients in the region but also patients of IDP camps whom the hospital was supplying foods and accommodations. “Government and well-wishers were providing nutrients to the patients in the hospital since six months ago.” said Dr Chan Thar. Typhoid, yellow fever, polio, malaria are also treated at the Sittway General Hospital. “As a state hospital, about 10 major diseases are treated at the hospital. Our hospital is treating the major diseases. Due to climate change, the number of Viral Hemorrhagic Fevers (VHFs) is increasing. Last year, over 2500 people suffered from VHFs, but only 26 patients died as the hospital has given special healthcare” he added. As government provided more budgets, we can give high medical supplements, with low cost and free of charges to the patients.
There were only 64 doctors in the hospital which is only 30 per cent of 214 doctors positions permitted at the Sittway General Hospital. Recently, 21 doctors were transferred to our hospital a few days ago. Only 40 per cent of the medical staff including 63 per cent of nurses, 37 per cent of admin staff and 28 per cent of general workers is appointed in the hospital. There is a short fall of staff for the hospital.
“On the staff matter, we are providing the necessary. Rakhine State government also came occasionally to fulfill the requirement of the staff” said the social affair minister. A four-story building was also being constructed for the doctors and medical staff in this FY. Most of the hospitals in Rakhine State were provided with radiography equipment and laboratories. These equipment can be used in hospitals that are connected to the national grid but are difficult to use where there is no electricity. There are 121 rural clinic centers and 500 sub-rural clinic centers in Rakhine State that are provided with necessary medicines by the government.
Distributing insecticide-treated mosquito nets, organizing medical education talks and testing the blood are also being carried out as preventive work. In places where medical department staff has difficulty to reach, trained volunteer staff and social organizations conducted the works of implementing lavatory project and project to keep water and environment clean.
Not only typhoid and HIV AIDS are being treated by giving medicines and presciptions but also vaccinations for rabies and Japanese Encephalitis (JE) are also being administered.
“The major work for public healthcare service is vaccination process. We are vaccinating the new born children to five years old. We are now conducting 11 type of vaccination. Vaccination for JE was conducted in November and December at the villages and schools to all children under 15 years old. We were able to vaccinate nearly 90 per cent.” said Dr Chan Thar. Except for some health care centers in the regions where terrorist attacks occurred, all health care centers are open about three days a week and in the remaining days, healthcare officers and staff are providing healthcare service to the houses.
“Medical teams are also sent on assignment to the reception centers to check and take care the patients there and to transfer the patients who suffers from major diseases to the hospitals. Children aged below five years are also being vaccinated. The repatriation centers will receive 150 people a day, so our medical teams are capable to care for them. We also can provide necessary healthcare service at the Buthidaung and Maungtaw hospitals as there are medical specialists there.” said Dr. Chan Thar.