Scottish medics pay tribute to health workers in Myanmar on anniversary of coup

Scottish medics have paid tribute to colleagues in Myanmar, labelling it one of the deadliest countries in the world to be a health worker on the one-year anniversary.

The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow (RCPSG) has “deep-rooted” connections to Myanmar, president Mike McKirdy said, with members and fellows based there and an online learning programme that can be accessed in the country for free.

The college will be one of many to light its buildings in red on Tuesday, to mark the anniversary of a coup that has seen healthcare workers targeted.

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Some 283 attacks on healthcare workers have been documented by the World Health Organisation in Myanmar in the past year, nearly 40 per cent of the world’s total.

Buddhist monks shout slogans and make three-finger salutes during a protest on February 10, 2021 in Yangon, Myanmar, a week after the country's military junta staged a coup against the elected National League For Democracy (NLD) government and detained de-facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi. Photo by Hkun Lat/Getty Images

A member of the college from Myanmar, who did not want to be named for fear of the risk to his family still in the country, said more Scots should be aware of the “atrocious” situation.

“This is a direct threat to healthcare professionals, everybody should be aware of this,” he said.

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"There are many conflicts in the world in our current times … but I do not think they are causing such a direct threat to healthcare professionals, not only to their careers, but to their lives as well.”

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The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh will also take part in the initiative.

“We feel it is important to show solidarity with healthcare workers in Myanmar, many of whom are members and fellows of RCSEd, and are continuing to provide care to those in need in the most challenging of circumstances,” said president Michael Griffin.

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