Accentuating their on-going work to improve the lives of impoverished children in Myanmar, Mykids Australia have received a $3,000 grant from The Happy Herb Company to contribute to the costs involved in the production and distribution of a herbal medicine and nutrition booklet.

Teeth brushing is one of the many healthy practices promoted in the booklet.

Teeth brushing is one of the many healthy practices promoted in the booklet.

Titled ‘Household Nutrition and First Aid’, this booklet is to be distributed to local community members and is designed to educate them in foundational nutrition and give them the tools to use local herbal medicine in the home to treat common ailments. Further to this, the booklet will also contain handy first aid tips for treating various afflictions such as burns and tick bites as well as advice on sanitation and hygiene. Phase 2 of this project involves an educational seminar, delivered by a qualified naturopath to the directors and carers of 28 youth centres in Yangon. This will elaborate on the information in the booklet and give them a greater understanding of the foundation of nutrition and basic human anatomy.

All of this is aimed at simultaneously improving the health of the 600 children in the care of the youth centres and reducing the load on already overburdened and under-resourced local health facilities. According to the World Health Organisation, Myanmar has one of the lowest national expenditure on health in the world. Many communities beyond the cities have little or no access to medical attention. In the rural communities some people may travel days to reach medical care. Preventative measures such as nutritional, hygiene and local herbal medicine education will go towards reducing the need for medical consultations.

A result of community consultation, the great benefit of the booklet is that it has the ability to go where MyKids cannot and therefore is an excellent tool to reach many isolated communities. It will allow essential health and illness prevention information to be accessible from the city to even the remotest part of Myanmar regardless of internet or electricity access. The seminars, in concert with this, will aim to empower local leaders, parents and carers with essential information so that they can become tomorrow’s teachers.

Annual Health assessments in the Andrew Youth Development Centre will help them to track the changes in the health and wellbeing of the children and accurately gauge the success of the program. Another step closer to health for all!