Presenting author: Yan Win Soe
Presenting author biography:
Passion and mission-driven public health profession with more than 10 years of experience including public health policy advocacy. Experienced in working with a diverse group of people from a wide range of NGO and INGOS, presently working as Senior Program Manager in Community Partners International in Myanmar.
Legal Review over Sustaining Financing and Harm Reduction Services in Myanmar
Yan Win Soe
External donors expected countries to progressively and sustainably transition away from external financing and toward domestically funded health programs. Although Myanmar still largely depends on international funding, the country had its progress in reforming necessary laws to achieve Universal Health Coverage (UHC) goal without leaving People Who Use Drugs (PWUD) under the previous democratically elected government.
This research by desk review will explore how current Myanmar maintains the progress for strategizing sustaining harm reduction services by domestic funding and what are necessary laws needed to secure for the purpose. Myanmar Sustainable Development Plan (2018-2030) specified achieving UHC under goal 4, as same as it was mentioned in National Health Plan and consistently in National Strategic Plan (NSP) IV for HIV and AIDS. Accordingly, the necessary legal and policy reforms had been made. The narcotic law was amended not to arrest PWUD by urine testing, and the national drug policy firstly recognized drug addiction as a health problem and harm reduction as an essential service. The NSP IV identified possible strategies for innovative revenue raising, domestic financing for HIV activities, and social contracting to non-government organizations through Public Private Partnership (PPP) legal framework prioritizing services for PWUD.
However, all these agendas being shifted to low priority after the military coup in 2021, the role of civil societies was dimmed away. In the last Universal Periodic Review (UPR), neither recommendations by member states nor support by the country are representing HIV or Drug issues. For progress, the country needs to show its willingness meaningfully by developing the pending laws such as the UHC law, the mental health law, and the PPP law, together with ratifying the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Convention against Torture following 3rd UPR process.