Since the 1st of February, Myanmar has entered a phase of political crisis with a dramatic collapse of all services, including access to health care services and basic support for the most vulnerable within the population. The strong rejection of the military regime by a large majority of the population has led to disproportionate use of force and the escalation of violence against the civilians. It caused a number of deaths, up to 842 until June 3rd, 5,609 persons arrested, among them 4,468 are still detained, and 250,000 people displaced since the military coup.

Médecins du Monde (MdM) is increasingly concerned about the rising tolls and barriers to access health care services as the majority of public health facilities remain closed.

MdM has implemented, since 1994, programs in direction of marginalized and vulnerable groups with a continuity of services during all those years. Today, our clinic in Yangon is closed, as it has been for the past 2 months, as the safety and security of our staffs and patients, our first concern, cannot be assured. Services to our patients are largely affected, after already almost a year of challenging times due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, the population no longer has access to basic survival means, including food, being unable to have money in hands, and of course access to health care, which creates a situation where most of the basic needs are not fulfilled anymore.

People from Myanmar are suffering and will suffer for an undetermined period of time from a regime of terror and abusive detentions. Humanitarian actors already present in the country need to be able to reach the population without barriers: this is a question of ensuring respect for fundamental human rights. People need to have unhindered access to basic health services, and humanitarian organizations that are well established in Myanmar.

MdM strongly condemns all forms of violence against healthcare workers as they endanger the health and human rights of the people of Myanmar. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) global surveillance system in their three-month post-coup review, there have been 158 reported attacks on health care workers, resulting in 11 deaths and 51 injuries and more than 100 doctors have been arrested since the beginning of February.

We urge the military regime to cease all violent and repressive actions taken against the population. We also call on the international community to take unified action to protect the people of Myanmar in the best way possible, increasing humanitarian aid through international NGOs and local civil society organizations on the ground, preparing for the internal displacements and refugee crisis which will be inevitable if things continue this way.

If nothing is done, living conditions and access to health care services in Myanmar will continue to deteriorate, leading to widespread and systematic human rights violations; we will see a huge humanitarian crisis emerging, particularly in the current COVID-19 pandemic.

We stand for the Myanmar people and call on all parties to protect the civilian populations and protect their basic human rights.

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