Myanmar’s regime has suspended the humanitarian organization Médecins Sans Frontières’ (MSF) operations in Dawei, Tanintharyi Region, affecting more than 2,000 HIV and TB patients.
In an MSF (Doctors Without Borders) statement, Adrian Guadarrama, MSF’s deputy program manager, said Tuesday’s suspension will affect 2,162 sufferers at the organization’s Myittar Yeik clinic.
HIV patients will struggle to access antiretroviral treatment and TB sufferers have been arriving since the February coup because of reduced services at the national TB program.
“Suspending MSF’s activities could be life-threatening for many of our patients at a time when public services remain severely disrupted. It risks further transmission of the diseases we treat. It may prevent new patients from getting diagnosed and starting life-saving treatment,” he said.
MSF has been providing HIV care in Dawei for almost two decades, including outreach programs to prevent marginalized and at-risk people – like migrant workers and drug addicts – from becoming infected.
Until the suspension, the activities have not been disrupted, despite political instability in Myanmar, the organization said.
No reason was given for the suspension and MSF is in contact with the regional health authorities to understand the decision.
“MSF has requested the suspension order be revised so that we can continue to provide care to patients,” Guadarrama said.