KIO’s COVID-19 Response Committee To Also Work For Prevention Of Other Diseases

By Network Media Group
Saturday, June 13, 2020

During a meeting this Wednesday, the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) COVID-19 Response Committee decided to work not only to prevent coronavirus but also to prevent other diseases already affecting the Kachin community.

Laban Hkawn Ja, who works with United for Health, explains that health workers are concerned about the onset of other diseases normally spread during the rainy season being ignored because the focus is on COVID-19 prevention.

“The rainy season is approaching and we have to be vigilant until next summer,” she says, explaining that patients exhibiting symptoms of dengue hemorrhagic fever and malaria could be overlooked during the pandemic. “We need to prevent both COVID-19 and other diseases at the same time,” Laban Hkawn Ja says, and help “those who are struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Laphai Hein Wam, the secretary of COVID-19 Response Committee, says other organizations working on prevention and treatment must follow guidelines set out by the committee for medical check point points and quarantine centers.

The meeting attracted a wide range of groups from Kachin civil society organizations, international non-governmental organizations, women’s and religious groups. Participants discussed working together effectively and how to open schools and other facilities once the nationwide lockdown stops at the end of June.

In late May, Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) leaders met with a Tatmadaw delegation who donated a shipment of medicine and personal protective equipment for coronavirus prevention. However, new fighting between Kachin Independence Army, KIO’s military arm, and Tatmadaw has recently happened in northern Shan State.