U.S. assistance is reducing the spread of infectious diseases and improving access to live-saving health services in underserved and conflict-affected  parts of the country.

Millions of Burmese people living in conflict-affected communities and peri-urban migrant neighborhoods lack access to basic health care. A quarter of Burma’s population lives in poverty. Nearly a million people are estimated to need humanitarian assistance due to natural disasters or ongoing conflicts that are decades old. The country’s maternal and child mortality rates are among the highest in the region. In 2018, only 4.8 percent of Burma’s gross national product was spent in the healthcare sector, and the country has among the highest rates of out-of-pocket health expenditure in the world. U.S. Government investments focus on improving health for vulnerable and underserved groups – helping to mitigate sources of fragility arising from deep and longstanding inequities in health access - and addressing transnational health threats such as COVID-19, HIV/AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis (TB). 


Reducing the Spread of Infectious Diseases

Although Burma has made significant progress in the past decade, the country still ranks among the top 20 high-burden countries globally for TB, multi-drug resistant TB, and TB/HIV co-infection.  Malaria prevalence has declined more than 80 percent since 2012 with support from the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative, and the goal of elimination by 2030 appears to be in reach. Access to HIV/AIDS diagnosis and treatment has expanded substantially with support from the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, though prevalence remains high among people who inject drugs, men who have sex with men, transgender communities, and sex workers. To address these challenges, USAID works with diverse civil society and private sector partners to develop, implement, and expand locally effective approaches and mobilize additional resources. The U.S. Government is the largest bi-lateral donor for COVID-19 support to Myanmar. USAID provided $8.3 million as of February 2021 to support clinical care, prevention messaging, surveillance, and testing to mitigate COVID-19 for the people of Burma.

Improving Access to Life-saving Health Services

USAID’s contributions to the multilateral Access to Health Fund ensure delivery of life-saving health services to marginalized people living in remote and conflict-affected areas.  These interventions engage ethnic minority and community-based organizations in conflict-affected areas in health planning, service delivery, and training.

Key Results from 2020

  • More than five million people received COVID-19 prevention messaging and materials

  • 87 percent of HIV patients received multi-month supplies of antiretroviral treatment in USAID-supported areas

  • 189,620 people received malaria prevention information from USAID-trained malaria volunteers

  • Procured and distributed 319,992 long-lasting insecticide treated nets, 362,675 rapid diagnostic tests and 19,361 doses of malaria treatment

  • Supported provision of postnatal care for 32,115 newborns within two days of birth, and administration of the first dose of measles vaccine to 35,153 children in their first year of life

  • 96 percent of patients diagnoses with multidrug-resistant tuberculosis received treatment due to USAID support for training and the diagnostic network

USAID is committed to fostering equitable access to life-saving services to all the people of Burma as part of a holistic effort to advance human rights, peace, and prosperity.

Two Burmese women measure the circumference of an infant's arm
A Village Health Committee volunteer in Burma measures the circumference of a baby's arm to assess nutritional status
Photo credit: Htoo Tay Zar/USAID Burma