Mission Myanmar a grand success: Dr Palin

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IMPHAL, June 1: Mission Myanmar has become a grand success not only in delivering services but also served as a goodwill gesture of bringing the two nations closer for growth and development, Dr Kh Palin, Chairman cum Managing Director Shija Hospitals and Research Institute (SHRI) informed media persons at its auditorium today.

Smile Train (USA) joined hands with Shija hospitals on June 10, 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, he added.

He maintained that 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 estimated that there are more than 1,00,000 patients silently suffering from this deformity in Myanmar. 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, he noted.

He also informed that the team upon arrival at Monywa General Hospital on May 24 last began screening and operating on the cleft patients. The operations continued till May 27 last. During this short period of four days, 103 surgeries were done on 87 patients.

Many patients had to be turned back 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 Chief Minister of Manipur O Ibobi Singh has offered to sponsor the next Mission Myanmar as it will be an on-going program, Dr Palin said.

He also mentioned in the press conference today that he is highly appreciative of the officials who exempted the team from the requirement of mandatory passports and visas and that the team will be more prepared for the next visit. He made specific mention of the lack of formalized immigration process and procedures at the Indian end at the border.

Dr Palin continued that he attended the official meeting of the Ministers of the two states on May 28 last. During the meeting, the Chief Minister of Manipur O Ibobi Singh proposed for the construction of a 100 bedded hospital on a PPP model at Monywa and requested the CM of Sagaing to kindly allot a plot of 50 acres.

He then said, 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. Ibobi 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.

Ibobi also stressed on the importance of implementation of Visa on arrival and Myanmar Visa office in Imphal. He mentioned about the Mandalay – Imphal bus service which is possible only after the construction of the road, Dr Palin added.

He also said that the state Home Minister will be appealed to construct a separate immigration department at the gate at the border.

It may be mentioned that a Smile Train Shija Cleft Project team of 12 members were flagged off from the campus of Shija Hospitals by G Gaikhangam, Dy Chief Minister Manipur and K Govindas, Minister Commerce and Industry Manipur on May 22 last.

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