Case study on AIDS in Myanmar
This reduction in HIVE prevalence is nevertheless uneven amongst countries in the world experiencing the AIDS epidemic. Sub-Sahara Africa continues to have ineffective healthcare systems and accounts for almost 70% of overall HIVE cases (Stephen Lewis Foundation, 2012). In the Southeast Asian region, the AIDS problem is concentrated In three countries – Thailand, Manner and Vietnam (AVERT, 2010). The HIVE prevalence in Manner is seen to have stabilized since 2005. Being ranked the first priority disease on the basis of public health as an issue with considerable political and socio-economic impacts (Manner National Strategic Plan, 2011),
Manner’s continued sentinel surveillance of vulnerable groups since 2000 (SEARS, 2007) have managed to reduce the proliferation of AIDS, but only to a certain extent.
Statistics have shown that the deadly virus still permeates the Burmese community. In 2011, there were 216,000 Individuals living with HIVE In Manner ? with a documented death toll of 18,000 people and 8,000 new infections (UNAIDED, 2012). Manner remains treatment-scarce (Grant, 2012), with a sheer 33% of adults and children having received anti-retrovirus (ARP) treatment out of the 120,000 people who require immediate medical assistance.
In this paper, I plan to identify and explain the four causes of the prevalence of AIDS In Manner: (1) an Isolationist Burmese government locked away from the rest of the world, (2) heavy economic sanctions against Manner by the united States, (3) low healthcare funding, and (4) discrimination against AIDS victims in the Burmese community. I believe these aforementioned causes convene to highlight the inefficiency and incompetence of the military junta in coping with the AIDS epidemic, and thus underscore the isolationism of the former military government as the main contributing factor to the reverence of AIDS In Manner.
An isolationist Burmese government Manner’s isolationist government clamped down on any form of dissent and did not trust ten vale AT Its Cleveland technocrats ( I nee Economist, U/) Ana elates on modernization and economic advancement. This has resulted in an underdeveloped economy and a pass© civil society, prone to disease outbreaks and other threats to survival (Sahara, 2008). Once the largest rice supplier in the world, Bursa’s economy flourished under healthy trade surpluses, as the wealthiest country in Southeast Asia (AS’, 2012).
When General Nee Win attained political power in 1962, he imposed a rightist anti-liberal way of governance on Burma based on an isolationist policy, the “Burmese Way to Socialism”, causing the economy to deteriorate significantly (Council On Foreign Relations, 2012) over a period of 26 years. A new military regime, the State Law and Order Restoration Council (COLOR), replaced Nee Win’s government in 1989, doubling military expenditure till up to 40% of the government’s budget (Council On Foreign Relations, 2012), and expanding Manner’s military power.
The suppression of the opposition party National League for Democracy (NIL), which won the free elections in 1990, led to the arrest and imprisonment of NIL leader Among San Sue Key and other NIL politicians. This strained international relations with pro-democratic First World governments like the U. S. And the European Union, which have imposed economic sanctions against this isolationist state, and divergently sealed off Manner from the rest of the world.
Having undergone three Anglo-Burmese wars over a period of 60 years, five decades of civil war, and a 48-year isolationist government, Burmese citizens have offered from extreme living conditions – inundated roads, poor infrastructure, hunger, thirst and hopelessness (Sahara, 2008). Economic sanctions against Manner as a result of the rogue military Junta have caused a chronic lack of resources to tackle domestic health issues (Doctors Without Borders, 2010).
Despite minimal resources, the rigid military government continued to filter international aid and relief, and exert control over the distribution of these resources to the needy.
Victims of contagious diseases like AIDS were attended to with a severe lack of urgency, thus prolonging HIVE prevalence in Manner. Economic sanctions against Manner by the United States The practice of isolationism by the Burmese government has caused the prevalence of HIVE in the Manner community. However, the consequences of isolationism leading to the widespread HIVE problem have been intensified by economic sanctions against Manner. These economic sanctions resulted from two main factors: inherent tension between governments of the U. S.
And Manner, and domestic human rights violations that run contrary to U.
S. Policy. Post-World War II relations between the U. S.
Government and Bursa’s military, the Adamant, were pedaled tested and strained. This tension is characterized by two issues: U. S. – Burma disagreements on Augmenting (KM) soldiers operating against the People’s Repelled Orca RCA) Trot Manner’s northeastern Dodders, Ana closer tales between the PRE and the Burmese military immediately after the Burmese Socialist Programmer Party (BSP) came into power (Martin, 2012). However, what heavily contributed to this tension was the Teammates blatant disregard for the human rights of Burmese citizens.
The first sanction against Burma was only passed in 1988 by the Reagan Administration, suspending all U.
S. Aid and arms sales, in response to the brutal massacre of unarmed civilian protesters by the military during the 8. 8. 88 People’s Uprising. The violation of human rights in Manner worsened in 1990, when COLOR declared martial law in repression of pro-democracy activists.
This induced further U. S. Sanctions on Manner, more specifically the 1990 Customs and Trade Act, which prohibited all imports from Manner, and a review of the 1961 Foreign Assistance Act, which reduced U. S. Ending to international organizations with assistance programmer for Manner. Subsequently, the Free Burma Act of 1995 banned U.
S. Investment in Burma, disapproved of any other forms of multilateral assistance, and imposed travel restrictions to and from Burma (Martin, 2012). Then, the 2003 Burmese Freedom and Democracy Act and the 2008 Tom Llanos Block Burmese Junta’s Anti-Democratic Efforts Act banned all imports from Burma, restricted loans from accounts in international financial institutions to Burmese officials, and banned visas for a list of Burmese officials (Martin, 2012).
Pressure from the U. S.
Has reduced international aid to Manner by about $1 1 1 lions a year, and has also caused mass lay-offs, with estimated unemployment numbers reaching 60,000 workers when 15-20% of factories closed down permanently (Tomahawking & Saran, 2006). Coupled with near-zero foreign investment since 1997 and the Asian financial crisis, Manner’s development was deeply impeded, resulting in poor socio-economic welfare of the Burmese citizens. The unemployed workers oftentimes found prostitution as an outlet (Taylor, 2004), and proliferated the spread of HIVE. While the U. S.
Economic sanctions against Manner have crippled some crucial actors in development (e. G. Trade and tourism) and reduced state welfare (e. G. Employment and healthcare) for citizens, the HIVE prevalence in the country could be largely attributed to a weak healthcare system, which was only allocated 3% of the governmental budget (Tomahawking & Saran, 2006), trivial when compared to the 29% of the same budget spent on military purposes.
An inadequate expenditure on healthcare against a looming AIDS epidemic shows a complete disregard for the welfare of its people by an inefficient military government.
This reflects self-inflicted sentimental (Steinberg, 1999) of the AIDS situation by incompetent Burmese officials, and the prevalence of HIVE can thus only be partially attributed to these economic sanctions. Low healthcare funding Despite now an Isolationist Burmese government Ana u. S. Economic sanctions against Manner were viable reasons for HIVE prevalence, low healthcare funding in Manner has also contributed to the AIDS epidemic.
Nonetheless, we should take note that the cause of low healthcare funding could be due to an ineffective government that has failed to build a strong healthcare sector, and U.
S. Inactions that stalled foreign humanitarian aid. The healthcare sector in Manner lacks a financial system, a regulatory regime and basic infrastructure (ATA, 2012). In 2009, the Burmese government has spent the least percentage of the country’s gross domestic product (GAP) – 1. 9% in 2007 – on healthcare, as compared to any other country worldwide (Mason, 2012).
As the labor market demand for doctors in healthcare sectors remained low, there was little need to produce medically-trained personnel – only 550 individuals were undergoing training at state-owned medical schools in 2000 (ATA, 2012).
The ineffectiveness of the healthcare system shows in statistics: Manner had the world’s 44th highest rate of child mortality, with 71 out of every 1000 newborns dying before their fifth birthdays (Miss, 2009), and a ratio of 13 medical staff to 10,000 residents (WHO, 2010). Because of scarce financial and human resources the state government has allocated to the healthcare sector, Manner was ranked as one of the hardest places in the world to get AIDS treatment (Mason, 2012).
To obtain ARP treatment for AIDS, a patient must have a CDC count (indicates the state of one’s AIDS infection) below 150, which is way less than what the WHO recommends – treatment at a CDC count of 350 (Mason, 2012). Due to the stringent criteria an AIDS victim needs to meet to receive treatment, patients with a rather high CDC count were been turned away – in Yang, a total of 100 patients were turned away every month (Mason, 2012). Additionally, there is low humanitarian aid flowing into the healthcare sector in Manner.
The Burmese people received the least international aid in 2010, $7 per capita, as compared to Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos, which received $34, $52 and $67 respectively (Mason, 2012). While this might be the effect of the heavy economic Inactions that discourage multilateral aid, the isolationist regime itself was largely responsible for the sparse humanitarian efforts – it imposed restrictions on the humanitarian activities of the United Nations and Nags, which eventually led to the withdrawal of assistance of Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis in 2005 (Tomahawking & Saran, 2006).
We can thus observe that the isolationist government has been the underlying cause of the low healthcare funding that the healthcare sector in Manner has received. Even though the various sanctions against the Burmese government has inconsiderably decreased international aid, these sanctions were ultimately caused by an inefficient and incompetent government, which has insisted to be the central distribution point of the already-low international aid even in the face of not having the adequate equipment and the necessary medically-trained personnel (Mason, 2012).
As a result, Manner’s Dockyard unaltered system was ran EAI K ten worst In the world in 2000 (WHO, 2000), and 10 years later, the military government was recorded to have only spent a bare $1 on each person for healthcare every year (Holds, 2010).
Discrimination against AIDS victims in the community Even though the isolationist government has been generally inefficient and incompetent in its fight against AIDS, the adoption of a ‘risk group’ approach focusing on sentinel surveillance of vulnerable groups has stabilized the AIDS situation, signified by a falling HIVE prevalence rate since 2004 (UNAIDED, 2012).
Howbeit, a large number of people continue to die because of AIDS-related diseases. Besides the inaccessibility of healthcare and top-down approaches that are in place, countless individuals who have contracted AIDS still fail to seek treatment because of an inherent issue within the Burmese community. Moral standards in the Burmese culture have induced fear of stigma and discrimination against AIDS victims from the local community, and caused ‘cultural queasiness’ (Fletcher, 2011), restraining these individuals from seeking anti-retrovirus treatment.
Moreover, the epidemiologically- driven ‘risk-group’ approach (Fletcher, 2011) adopted by the Burmese government has created a different set of problems. By identifying certain groups of people – sex workers, injecting drug users and men who have sex with men (MS) – who have a higher risk of HIVE infection in this approach, a sense of ‘otherness’ is created within he community, worsening the categorization of AIDS victims and further preventing them from seeking treatment and thus prolonging the prevalence of HIVE.
In addition, a particular ‘risk-group’, the MS, has been under extra pressure, being dubbed the gay plague’ (Fletcher, 2011), adding on to the discriminatory sentiment. While Among San Sue Key, the newly appointed ambassador for the Joint United Nations Programmer on HIVE/AIDS Global Advocate for Zero Discrimination, has spoken publicly against discrimination of the PUPIL, categorization is shown to persist in the Burmese community. In a study conducted by the United Nations Development
Programmer (UNDO) in 2012, about 10% of the PUPIL have reported to be subjected to discrimination in their workplaces, and 25% of the people in the households interviewed were denied employment because of their HIVE status. PUPIL thus prefer to not seek treatment. The isolationist government can still be held accountable in this aspect of HIVE prevalence not only because of its continuous application of a ‘risk group’ approach, but also for its harsh clampdown on dissent which has possibly prevented any bottom-up reciprocation (in the form of community support groups and feedback mechanisms) to top-down governmental policies.
The isolationist government could have also failed to address the imperfect knowledge about AIDS and its effects amongst non-AIDS patients, which might have contributed to the discrimination of AIDS vellums. Educational programmer would nave strategically solved ten problem AT discrimination within the Burmese community, but governmental budget for education remained at an insufficient 1. 3% of its GAP (UNESCO, 2001).