Primary Health Care (PHC)

Project completed

The Primary Health Care project uses a convergent approach to improve the health status of vulnerable people in four conflict-affected townships in Kayin State. It contributes to peace, and brings together the Ministry of Health and Sports and Ethnic Health Organizations. Basic health services are strengthened through better coordination, training, supervision and supplies. Communities are empowered to achieve better health and feedback mechanisms are introduced. 

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Primary health care
Health systems strengthening
Health education
01.01.2019 - 30.04.2023
CHF  10’190’000
Background Over the last half a century of isolation, and with limited resources, Myanmar has seen low levels of basic health services, poor infrastructure, shortage of trained health staff, a chronic shortage of essential drugs and supplies, and high levels of out-of-pocket payments for health. This situation, magnified by conflicts and geographical remoteness, has led to considerable inequities in the utilization of health services in the conflict-affected Kayin State. Since the National League for Democracy came into power in 2016, the Ministry of Health and Sports has initiated a reform process to improve the health status of its population and formulated the National Health Plan 2017-2021. Considering the role Ethnic Health Organizations play in providing health services in Ethnic Armed Organizations controlled areas. Although the government expenditure for health has been increasing since 2011, it still remains low compared with other ASEAN countries.
Objectives Disadvantaged people in rural communities, including conflict-affected and vulnerable populations, have access to better basic health infrastructures and services and are enabled to contribute to local health governance through enhanced individual and organizational capacities, which contributes to sustainable peace.
Target groups The project will serve a population of 678’000, including 20’000 pregnant women and 60’000 children under 5 years of age in more than 800 villages in 4 conflict-affected Townships in Kayin state: Kawkareik, Kyainseikkyi, Myawaddy and Hlaingbwe
Medium-term outcomes
  • Equitable provision of quality basic health care services is improved in rural areas of target townships
  • Communities are empowered to improve health status and governance
  • Government and ethnic health systems in southeast Myanmar are coordinated and strengthened, creating trust between them

Expected results:  

  • Delivery of quality maternal and child health services to targeted beneficiaries from village health committees; community-based referral systems also between EHO and MoHS are institutionalized; health facilities in target areas refurbished; facility-based health staff outreach activities and communication facilitated.
  • Target communities are mobilized to take part in health promotion efforts and they are able to identify health emergency conditions; gender and inclusive community structures are identified and capacitated.
  • Improved service quality, availability and readiness; data quality strengthened; coordination mechanism among different stakeholders improved; and actions to contribute to convergence and conflict transformation are supported.

Results from previous phases:  

  • Fostered coordination between government health departments and EHOs, which was initiated only through facilitation from this project.
  • Development of sustainable emergency referral system; 3521 emergency referrals of pregnant women, of which for the first time 647 patient referrals from EHO clinics to MoHS installations.
  • Standardized MCH curricula across the ethnic health organizations and curriculum review by MoHS, joint trainings.
  • Training for Basic Health Staff and for more than 400 skilled birth attendants from both MoHS and EHOs sides, and support for outreach services visits to 200 villages, including 61 EHO villages.
  • Successful expanded immunization program, to cover beneficiaries in areas that never received immunization before, with high level commitment and actions from MoHS to provide vaccines, technical support and cold chain supplies to EHOs; immunization of 2’481 children.
  • 445 inclusive and gender diverse Village Health Committees were established, empowering the communities to improve their health status.
  • Through extensive facilitation of the project, EHOs participated fully in the formulation and the drafting process of NHP, which now recognizes the role of EHOs in health service provision.

Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Credit area Development cooperation
Project partners Contract partner
International or foreign NGO
Private sector
  • Other international or foreign NGO North
  • Foreign private sector North
  • Save the Children Federation

Coordination with other projects and actors
  • Switzerland participates in the government sector coordination for health, MHSCC.
  • The multi-donor trust fund “Access to Health”, which is currently chaired by Switzerland, will provide additional Malaria, Tuberculosis, and HIV/AIDS services in the same townships.
  • Regular exchange with other Swiss funded Multi-Donor Trust Funds LIFT (for nutrition component) and Joint Peace Fund (for peace dividend).
  • Regular exchange with other bilateral health projects in Kayin State from USAID.
Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF    10’190’000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF    9’668’828
Project phases Phase 3 01.05.2023 - 30.04.2026   (Current phase)

Phase 2 01.01.2019 - 30.04.2023   (Completed)

Phase 1 01.03.2014 - 31.12.2018   (Completed)