We introduced history of leprosy in Myanmar based on the book of Myanmar Academy of Medical Science published entitled "CONQUEST OF SCOURGES IN MYANMAR (Complied and Edited by Ko Ko, Kyaw and U Thaung) at 2002. "Leprosy Elimination Programme in Myanmar (Kyaw Lwin and Kyaw Nyunt Stein)" was appeared at chapter III in it. After dapsone treatment appeared, leprosy control program has started. Health system and service were developed and leprosy control program was also included in them. The integration of the elimination activities into basic health workers, such as midwives and health volunteers, has enabled the participation of a wide range of people in the community. After 1990s, multidrug therapy (MDT) was covered whole area of Myanmar, and task force for leprosy elimination was formed at Sate/Division, District and Township level. Finally Myanmar achieved the elimination of leprosy in January in 2003.
Hepatitis C virus, which is non-cytopathic, establishes persistent infection in majority of patients after acute infection, causing various degrees of clinical liver disease. To escape and survive, hepatitis C virus may take ingenious strategies. Hepatitis C virus gene products interact host proteins to evade host immune responses in addition to the appearance of quasispecies. Against hepatitis C virus infection, host may avoid extensive tissue damage by inducing the activity of regulatory T cells. Insights into this mechanism of immune regulation may help to future development of novel therapies against hepatitis C virus.
Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) implemented a 5-year long bilateral technical cooperation project, “Leprosy Control and Basic Health Services Project” in Myanmar. The project was implemented by National Leprosy Control Program, Department of Health with close technical collaboration of JICA experts mainly from International Medical Center of Japan (IMCJ) and National Sanatoriums of leprosy in Japan. It accelerated to achieve the elimination of leprosy at national level, which was declared in January 2003, and at sub-national level onward. It also developed the appropriate technologies for prevention of disability and prevention of worsening of disability (POD/POWD), which were introduced in 9 townships as a pilot service program. The Government stratified the POD/POWD services as a national program since 2005 by taking up the former pilot area to start with. The project also strengthened the function of referral system of leprosy control (Diagnosis and treatment), POD/POWD and physical rehabilitation. Beside leprosy, the project conducted a series of refresher trainings for primary health care givers, Basic Health Service Staff (BHS), of project areas (48 townships) to improve the services on tuberculosis, Malaria, Leprosy, Trachoma and HIV/AIDS for 3 years (2001-2003), which was evaluated in 2004. It contributed to improve the services at township level hospitals in procurement of audio-visual equipments and in conducting microscope training on leprosy, Malaria and tuberculosis at project areas.
“Leprosy control and Basic health service Project” was terminated at March 2005 within the scope of the period. I was assigned to develop the Plantar protect footwear for neuropathic feet, which called “Myanmar Sandals” in common. These sandals are not made by new technologies but made by basic knowledge. I would like to report about this activity as which is a part of distinguished strategy of ODA (Official Development Assistance) for developing country, but not as the technical report of these sandals. There is only one National Leprosy Hospital in Myanmar. At the time this project started, there were only two footwear technicians for the people who had disabilities by after effect of Hansen's disease in this country. And, it would appear that the number of the people is over 50, 000. Furthermore, the budget of national hospital is not enough to refill necessary consumable supplies and materials. Although, I should instruct new technique which like making in Japan in ordinary circumstances, I could not think that such technical transfer by using costly imported materials woud bring beneficial effect and be continued. We were bound to be anxious about such situations when we made the plan. As a result of examining a plan based on these situations, we reached the conclusion that development of the simplified ready-made footwear was pressing need.