Corrupt HA Abuses Chin Villagers in Paletwa Township
13 April 2012: Local villagers in Tanthawng of Paletwa Township, Chin State have suffered from corruption and abuses perpetrated by a Burmese HA (health assistant), U Myint Oo.
U Myint Oo, who has been in charge of the village health centre, takes unfair amount of money from the villagers for minor medical check-ups and tells them to buy medicines only from his private shop, according to the locals.
The government health assistant is also accused of showing adult movies containing explicit scenes including porn movies to young local teenagers and under-age children at his video theatre.
One of the local Dai-Chin leaders said: “U Myint Oo is an unscrupulous Health Assistant. He uses abusive words and is corrupt in his work. He is interested only in making money. He would do anything to get money out of us even though he is well aware that we are still suffering from the effects of food crisis.”
U Myint Oo is known to have sold mosquito nets, which are freely distributed by UNICEF, to the local Chins.
“He is helpless to poor patients. He ruins our community morally, economically, physically and financially,” added the village leader.
The local villagers claimed that at least 9 patients have died and 7 patients injured unnecessarily because of U Myint Oo’s lack of proper treatments.
“He does not treat patients carefully without money. Therefore, poor villagers are always suffering. He pays attention and offers good services only to those who have money,” said the villager.
The village leaders complained about U Myint Oo to Dr. Aye Kyaw, head of Paletwa Township Health Department but no action has yet been taken against him up to date.
It is claimed that U Myint Oo reportedly bribed Dr. Aye Kyaw to get the case disposed of.
Transferred from Rangoon in 2004, U Myint Oo and his second wife, who is a nurse, arrived in Tanthawng Village, Paletwa Township of Chin State to be in charge of the village health centre.
Tanthawng, mostly populated by Dai Chins, serves as the only health center for an estimated number of 10,000 villagers from about 45 villages in Paletwa Township.
There are only 24 hospitals for an estimated population of about 550,000 people in a total of 1,355 villages in Chin State, the poorest of Burma’s 14 states and divisions, according to the Annual Hospital Statistics Report published in March 2010 by the Ministry of Health.
Reporting by Jeremy Hoipang