Education is key to making the transition from relief to community development and sustainability. This is a primary goal of CWR’s partner in the Karen province of Burma, Partners Relief and Development (Partners). Partners and CWR are operating two clinics in the province which bring aid to the marginalized Karen people. These clinics not only provide immediate relief for medical needs, but they are also the training center for the Karen people to learn how to take ownership of their community’s health needs.
Partners Relief and Development has partnered with other local organizations such as the Karen Department of Health and Welfare, Global Health Access Program and Shoklo Malaria Research Unit in order to assist these rural communities in creating and managing their own health system. There has also been significant progress made with the Myanmar Ministry of Health to certify these newly trained health workers. This will allow these individuals to manage and operate their own health system.
Educating local leaders is the first step to implementing a stable and sustainable health care system. The goal is for communities in the Karen province to run their own health services. Transitions from relief to recovery to sustainability are long and complex. Education on how to implement and manage a health system cannot happen overnight. Through the work and support of Partners and Covenant World Relief, the Karen people are being equipped to take over all major operations of these clinics and provide sustainable health in their communities.