Burnet’s adolescent health program in Myanmar was showcased during the recent visit to Melbourne of Dr Su Mon Myat, Deputy Director of the School Health Program for the Ministry Of Health and Sports in Myanmar.
Dr Myat is co-principal investigator on several of Burnet’s adolescent health research projects including IMSA – Integrated Multi-Sectoral Approach to improve Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health – a five-year project aiming to improve the health of young people (aged 10-18) in Magwey, west-central Myanmar.
IMSA is the first ever adolescent health implementation research project in Myanmar that is working across multiple sectors.
It is putting research into action by working with government ministries, teachers, students, parents and health workers to address barriers to young people receiving quality sexual and reproductive health education and services.
“IMSA is the first project coordinating three sectors – education, health and the community sector, so that makes it challenging, but we are making progress,” Dr Myat said.
“Adolescents need information and services, and our partnerships are providing evidence-based action so the adolescents will be well equipped for healthy habits.”
Dr Myat was in Melbourne to attend the 19th World Congress on Paediatric and Adolescent Gynaecology where she co-convened a session on Sexual and reproductive health of young people in Asia and the Pacific: challenges and opportunities with Burnet’s Co-Heads of Adolescent Health, Dr Elissa Kennedy and Associate Professor Peter Azzopardi.
She gave an overview of the situation for young people in Myanmar, and discussed how IMSA is generating new knowledge about how to effectively deliver adolescent health interventions in a challenging setting.
Dr Kennedy described Dr Myat as a wonderful advocate for adolescent health.
“It has been fantastic to work in partnership with the Ministry of Health and Sports, and in particular with Su Mon,” Dr Kennedy said.
“She has been integral to the success of IMSA, and we are hopeful that through her engagement the key findings of this project will support the scale-up of adolescent health programs across Myanmar.”