Myanmar-Oxford Clinical Research Unit (Myanmar)

In the waiting area at Hlaingthayar Clinic

Myanmar (Burma) is a low income country with under-developed healthcare, ranking 149 out of 187 countries in the UN Development Programme’s Human Development Index, and a population of over 60 million. Despite Myanmar being isolated from the international community for over five decades the Wellcome Trust Asia Major Overseas Programmes have for 20 years been conducting research of public health importance there on a project by project basis, collaborating with Dr Frank Smithuis (formerly of Médécins sans Frontières (MSF) and later of Medical Action Myanmar), and with the Department of Medical Research (DMR) and the Directorate of Medical Services (DMS).

In 2013, MORU’s presence in Myanmar was formalised with the set up of Myanmar Oxford Clinical Research Unit (MOCRU) and the signing of an MOU with the Ministry of Health and Frank became the director of this newly formed organisation.

MOCRU has a strong link with Medical Action Myanmar, which has a well-established infrastructure of 10 clinics and 1,850 village health workers spread across the poorest rural areas, which are a valuable resource for future research.