MISSION MYANMAR- A good-will Ambassador to bring India and Myanmar closer. 1-06-2013, Shija Hospitals, HealthCity, Langol A Smile Train Shija Cleft Project team of 12 members were flagged off from the campus of Shija Hospitals by Shri G. Gaikhangam , Dy. Chief Minister, Manipur and Shri K. Govindas, Hon’ble Minister- Commerce and Industry, Manipur on the 22nd of May. The team members are Dr.Kh Palin and Dr. AK Ibohal, Consultant Plastic Surgery, SHRI, Dr.Sanjib Nepram, HOD Plastic Surgery, RIMS, Dr.Th Dinesh, Consultant Anesthesiology, SHRI, Dr. L.R Singh, Consultant Anesthesiology, Dr. Kh Chetan, Medical Officer, Mr. RK Romen and Mr. Y. Sanjoy, OT Technician, Mrs. Shima Y and Ms.Bishwaya Waikhom, Nurse, Mr. Premjit L, Asst Manager Business Development and Mr. Arun Ng, IT Assistant. It may be mentioned that they were invited as the country’s official guest by the Union Republic of Myanmar and Indian Consulate General, Dr. Madan Mohan Sethi. Mission Myanmar is a triangular effort of the Union Republic of Myanmar, Indian Consulate Mandalay and Smile Train Shija Cleft Project to eradicate the problem of cleft lip and palate in the country of Myanmar. It is said that every 1 in 600 suffer from cleft lip and palate worldwide. According to the Myanmar population it is estimated that there are more than 1,00,000 patients silently suffering from this deformity. These cleft patients cannot speak and eat properly. They don’t go to schools because of the facial deformity and remain isolated in shame but they also have dreams. It can also be noted that there are very few plastic surgeons in the country of Myanmar. Smile Train Inc. is a New York based NGO established in 1998, working with a single goal of eradicating the global problem of cleft lip and palate. Smile Train joined hands with Shija hospitals on 10 June 2006 and so far the Smile Train Shija Cleft Project has completed about 3600 free cleft lip and palate surgeries on patients from Manipur, Nagaland, Mizoram, Assam, Bihar and Myanmar before the Mission Myanmar. The team reached Moreh and all formalities were completed with immigration office at Tamu and Police Station at Moreh on the same day. They were accompanied by Mr.Balaram, SDPO Moreh and Mr.Rajendra, Businessman, Moreh, on 23rd May, upto immigration office Tamu from where they were flagged off by officials of Immigration office on two Toyota minibus at 6:20 am. They were accompanied by liaison officer, Mr. Chhetri and escorted by Myanmar security personnel. The team was extended a warm welcome at Kalewa by Deputy Commisioners of Tamu and Kale and offered a sumptuous lunch to the team. The road from Tamu to Kalewa is reported to be in good condition, though the condition of about 50 bridges along the same road could be improved. A segment of the road from Kalewa to Monywa was experienced to be a treacherous one owing to the recent heavy rainfall. Mention also may be made that on 15th March 2013 the management of the hospital submitted a proposal to the DC of Tamu offering to extend the service of free cleft lip and palate surgery to the much needed country, Myanmar. The same proposal was given to the 11 Myanmar delegates, including Power Minister of Sagaing region and 2 MPs, when they visited Shija Hospitals on 2nd April 2013. The team upon arrival at Monywa General Hospital on 24th May began screening and operating on the cleft patients. The operations continued till 27th May. During this short period of four days 103 surgeries were done on 87 patients. Many patients were declined due to the short duration and full occupancy of the hospital. However, they were asked to avail of the services in the next visit of the Mission Myanmar team. The Honourable Chief Ministers of Sagaing Region, Shri. U Thar Aye, and Manipur, Shri O. Ibobi Singh visited the hospital two times on separate occasions and once together, while the team was carrying out the operations and encouraged the good work of the mission which will bring the two nations closer. The Chief Minister of Manipur, Shri O.Ibobi Singh also offered to sponsor the next Mission Myanmar as it will be an on-going program. Dr. Plain, CMD Shija Hospitals and Smile Train partner surgeon attended the official meeting of the Ministers of the two states on 28th May evening. During the meeting The Chief Minister of Manipur, Shri O.Ibobi Singh proposed construction of 100 bedded hospital on PPP model at Monywa and requested the CM of Sagaing to kindly allot a plot of 50 acres. The proposed hospital will be funded by India and has got the scope of establishing a medical college with a capacity of 100 students out of which Myanmar will have 75% and 25% for North Eastern India. He also mentioned that the Myanmar patients can avail of the services in hospitals of Manipur and assured full security in Manipur and highly subsidized accommodation facilities. He also stressed on the importance of implementation of VISA on arrival and Myanmar VISA office in Imphal. He mentioned about Mandalay – Imphal bus service which is possible only after the construction of the road. Dr.Palin mentioned in the press conference that he is highly appreciative of the officials who exempted the team from the requirement of mandatory passports and VISA’s and that the team will be more prepared for the next visit. He made specific mention of the formalised immigration process and procedures at the Indian end at the border. The team had taken along with them medicines, instruments, drapes, gowns and all the consumables for the operations The Mission Myanmar of the Smile Train Shija Cleft Project serves as a good-will ambassador bringing the two nations closer for growth and development. It is a boon to have Smile Train Shija Cleft Project in this region. Dr.Palin expressed his strong belief that Manipur is a potential tertiary care centre in South East Asia. But we have to go a long way to achieve the desired goal, as Dr.Palin also quoted “The War is not over until it is over”. During the press conference he said that the tremendous energy and stamina that the Mission Myanmar team exhibited during the camp is highly commendable. He also said with conviction that “Future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” Shija Hospitals is grateful Dr. Madan Mohan Sethi and Mr. N.K Rana of Consulate General of India, Mandalay, Myanmar by sponsoring and arranging the warm hospitality and for making Mission Myanmar happen.
Dr. U Than Htut, Medical Superintendant of the Government hospital at Monywa, also extended his full support for the mission. The mission is also supported by ADCOCK INGRAM(COSME), FRESENIUS KABI INDIA PRIVATE Ltd VT-DIVISON, LAMPHEL PHARMACY RIMS ROAD, MACLEOD ACUPHAR DIVISON, MEDTECH LAMPHEL SANA kEITHEL, MICRO LAB LIMITED, STELLAR BIO LAB, TROIKKA PHARMACEUTICALS LTD., XIEON LIFE SCIence , and JOHNSON & JOHNSON LTD. (Santosh Shekhar) Asst. General Manager- Business Development