Myanmar’s Efforts To Eliminate Malaria Serve As Model For ‘Disease Diplomacy’

Los Angeles Times: Pursuing disease diplomacy in Myanmar
Myaing Myaing Nyunt and Christopher Plowe, both public health scientists at the Institute for Global Health at the University of Maryland School of Medicine

“…Last summer in Washington, D.C., more than a dozen of [Myanmar’s] officials, military leaders, opposition politicians, and ethnic groups — people with a long history of mutual distrust — met to discuss how to combat [malaria]. … [E]ngaged in what might be called ‘disease diplomacy,’ they agreed to cooperate on malaria elimination no matter what happened in the election or what became of ongoing cease fire negotiations. … The meeting was a model for how to use science and medicine not only to solve important health problems, but also to foster wider social and political change. … We are convinced that to eliminate malaria in Myanmar, everyone must be involved. … [T]here is no question that this alliance already has been a catalyst for more dialogue, reconciliation, and social change. Linking health and diplomacy can improve the prospects for both — in Myanmar, and in other troubled places as well” (12/14).