Over 200 locals staged a protest yesterday in Belin Town, Belin Township, Mon State, urging for the construction of a rural health center in Karawaiseik Village instead of Win Taung Village, in Belin Township.
The protest was sparked after a rural health center was set up in Win Taung Village. Locals urged for a medical centre in Karawaiseik Village, where roads are comparatively safer and there are more households.
“We would like to have the health center in Karawaiseik Village. We can transfer patients to another hospital conveniently as the roads are good. If it is in Win Taung Village, there will be difficulties, because it is on a mountain. For example, if we want to transfer patients, we have to come down the mountain and rush them to other hospitals or clinics. Hence, we staged this protest urging for the construction of a medical branch in our village,” said U Aung Ko Hla, a protester.Although the locals sent letters to respective health departments, State Government and the President, requesting to have medical branches in Karawaiseik Village, there was no response, according to locals.
“In terms of geography, Win Taung Village is located on a mountain. If a pregnant woman is in labour but cannot deliver the baby at the health center, she will be rushed back down the mountain. However, if the health center is in Karawaiseik Village, and a pregnant woman cannot deliver the baby, she can be rushed to Belin Town or Kyaikhto Town. The roads are good. That is why the locals have urged to have a healthcentre in Karawaiseik Village,” said U Kyi Win.
Marching in the town of Belin, protesters shouted slogans such as, “The majority of local people’s need for access to health care is our cause”, “No health center in Win Taung Village is our cause”, “To have a health center in Karawaiseik Village is our cause”, “No!… to the Healthcare Minister ignoring public reports”, “No!… to the Belin Township Health Department, ignoring local reports”.