Kyarinntaung cottage hospital in Myebon Township, Arakan State.

DMG Newsroom
5 December 2022, Myebon

Local people in parts of Myebon Township, Arakan State, are experiencing hassles gaining access to public healthcare services as doctors have not yet come to serve at the Kyarinntaung cottage hospital some two years after it was opened.

Residents are forced to travel by both sea and road to public hospitals in Minbya and Myebon towns, which are about 25 and 18 miles away, respectively, to receive healthcare services, Kyarinntaung Village administrator U Maung Khin Shwe told DMG.

“To get to those hospitals, villagers have to travel by both boat and car. And because of instability in the region, we have to inquire about the situation of the road before making travel arrangements. So, it is not OK for patients who need emergency care,” he said.

The Kyarinntaung cottage hospital was opened in December 2020, but no doctor has arrived to work at the hospital since, said villagers. A letter from some of the affected villagers to the township health department requesting a doctor for the hospital thus far appears to have fallen on deaf ears.

Including nurses, there are only four healthcare workers at the Kyarinntaung cottage hospital, and they can only provide treatment for minor cases.

“This cottage hospital is only OK for common colds and delivery of babies. If there is a doctor, people who suffer other illnesses may not need to travel so far to receive treatment. So, we want a doctor to be assigned to the hospital as soon as possible,” said Ko Naing Min Tun from Kyarinntaung Village.

Some patients who needed emergency care died on the way to hospital. In December last year, a villager from Kyarinntaung was suffering from high blood pressures, and died while he was being sent to Minbya Hospital, said his wife Daw Ma Khin Thein.

“He would not have died if there had been a doctor at the hospital. I grieved when he died. And I hope a doctor is assigned to the hospital as early as possible,” she said.

DMG was unable to obtain comment from Dr. Zaw Zaw Aung, deputy director of the Arakan State Public Health Department, and the head of the Arakan State Health Care Services Department, Dr. Kyi Lwin.

Kyarinntaung Village has a population of more than 1,500 people across some 300 households, and the cottage hospital there is the only public healthcare facility for some two dozen villages in the area, according to residents.

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