A communication from the Ministry of Health, National Unity Government of Myanmar to WHO and UNICEF

A communication from the Ministry of Health, National Unity Government of Myanmar to WHO and UNICEF in relation to atrocities committed by the terrorist military council in the healthcare sector and the delivery of international humanitarian aid to Myanmar

24th June 2022

H.E. Professor Dr. Zaw Wai Soe, Union Minister for Health and Education of the National Unity Government, in his letter of 22nd June 2022, addressed to World Health Organization (WHO) Director General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus expressed his dismay and disappointment that since the attempted coup d’etat in Myanmar on 1st February 2022, WHO had kept silent on the atrocities committed by the terrorist military council on the healthcare sector which included arresting, torturing and killing healthcare workers, raiding and ransacking clinics and hospitals, seizing ambulances and disassembling healthcare itself. With the advent of the war in Ukraine, he indicated his sadness and displeasure that the United Nations (UN) and the WHO made an effort to express concern for the healthcare sector there but, attacks on Myanmar’s healthcare sector have not been widely featured or classified as emergency situation in WHO’s communications. WHO’s Global Surveillance System for Attacks on Healthcare (SSA) for Myanmar has been underreporting the attacks. He also stated that he believed that the healthcare workers in Myanmar had a right to be defended by the WHO from the atrocities committed by the terrorist military council and the much-needed healthcare requirements of the public provided as it is an institution that upholds and respects the international humanitarian principles such as humanity, neutrality, impartiality, and independence in providing healthcare without discrimination.

In addition, the Union Minister’s letter on 22nd June 2022, addressed to Ms. Catherine Mary Russell, Executive Director of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) stated that public trust in the UN organization and other international organizations, is discredited as the humanitarian aid and health care assistance were granted through the terrorist military council. That the Ministry strongly denounced the fact that the UNICEF representative to Myanmar, Mr. Marcoluigi Corsi, presented his credentials to the unlawful military council. The Union Minister communicated the fact that all UNICEF humanitarian aid, be it medical, educational, should be handled on principles by humanitarian organizations that are neutral so that the aid is passed onto those children and public in real need.

Ministry of Health,

National Unity Government.

Published on: 24 June 2022
Last Updated: 24 June 2022