Project information

Training Community Health Workers in Burma

In the villages of the Irrawaddy Delta, there is almost no primary healthcare. We seek to train 30 more volunteers as Community Health Workers to provide basic healthcare, hygiene and nutritional advice, and improved maternity and baby care, serving over 5000 people.

February 2015 - January 2016

Charity information: Helping The Burmese Delta

Helping The Burmese Delta logo
  • Need


    These health of these villagers suffers due to poor diet, ignorance, and a lack of advice and help. Infant and maternal mortalities are high, and life expectancy short. It is rare to meet anyone over 60. The only healthcare facilities are in the towns and both travel and treatment are usually too expensive for these very poor people.


    It will provide primary healthcare where it is needed, in the villages themselves. We are training two or three volunteers per village, and equipping them with basic medical equipment and supplies. They will be further trained through our medical team carrying out periodic clinics in the villages, with the participation of the health workers. They will be closely monitored and assessed. We have already trained two batches of such workers in other areas.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To recruit and train 40 - 50 volunteers from the target villages


    » Select the villages and discuss the project with the village committee, who will propose candidates.
    » Agree the chosen volunteers, test their suitability, and provide them with training by experienced UK and Burmese professional at a central location.

    Success will be measured by having sufficient trained, competent, and motivated birth attendants on the ground, and retaining their commitment beyond the training period

    Aim 2

    To refresh and reinforce the initial training through follow-ups, and review the effect on mortality


    » Repeat and extend the training after 6 - 12 months. Review trainees experience and the extent to which mother and baby health and mortality improve.

    We have learned through previous projects that one training is not enough. This needs to be repeated to reinforce the messages and learnings. The women are very eager to learn.

  • Impact


    The long term objective is to improve the survival rates and health of babies and mothers. The trainees are taught to record their experiences with patients (most are literate) in order to monitor progress. We cannot avoid all complications, these will not be trained midwives, and the nearest hospital is several hours away. Nevertheless, by teaching them how to deal correctly with difficult births we believe lives can and will be saved.


    There are always risks in operating in remote regions and in a highly regulated country. We minimise these by having a trustworthy team on the ground, maintaining good contacts both with the village committees and regional health authorities, and by regular personal inspections. The team of UK midwives and our Burmese staff has already successfully run a trial project in March 2015, and this was enthusiastically received by the participants and by the villagers.


    We report to donors regularly by email and through our website, and we are always happy to report directly to major donors.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £14,000

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      Amount Heading Description
      £7,500 Training Training and equipping 30 volunteers with supplies
      £1,500 Clinics Running up to 20 mobile clinics
      £3,000 Management Team to manage project
      £2,000 Operations Office, travel, supplies
  • Background


    The project will be located in the district of Bogalay, in the heart of the Irrawaddy delta some 8 - 12 hours by boat from the capital Yangon (Rangoon). We have chosen an area with about 15 villages and a population of about 5000, about 5 - 10 hours by boat from Bogalay. This is an area where we have already built 17 primary schools, and one high school, and which we know well. The area has virtually no primary health care - one part-time midwife, who is not fully trained.


    This project will benefit everybody in the villages, but especially mothers and children. This territory is very poor even by Burmese standards, there are very few roads, no electricity or sanitation, and most people are landless and live on about £1 a day.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    We have been working in this area since 2008 and have a very successful track record especially in building schools. Our local team have an equally fine record in providing medical care in more accessible areas of the Delta. We know the terrain and the villages very well. The founders pay all non-project costs so 100% of donations will go straight to help the needy. May Tha-Hla, one of our founders, is bi-lingual and bi-cultural and oversees all our work personally.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    May Tha-Hla

    May will provide the direct link with, and supervision of, the local team, and inspect progress in the villages.

    Frances Barnsley

    Frances is a UK Registered Midwife and Nurse, and will lead the truing assisted by Maiike Carter.

    Ko Chan Myae

    Chan Myae is a qualified nurse, and has been involved in the previous training. He is an excellent teacher, and will be supported by other staff.

Listening to the baby

Listening to the baby