Thursday, 31 January 2013
The University of Otago has signed an agreement with the University of Medicine (1) in Myanmar (also known as Burma) to collaborate on research, training, and capacity building in areas including infectious disease.
Myanmar is the second largest country in Southeast Asia and home to more than 60 million people. In 2008 Myanmar embarked on a process of reforms towards a liberal democracy, a mixed economy, and reconciliation. These developments have opened opportunities for increased engagement with international partners, including with New Zealand. Based in Yangon, the University of Medicine (1) is Myanmar's oldest medical school. University of Medicine (1) plays a major role in the training of medical doctors and allied health sciences professionals.
The Rector of University of Medicine (1), Professor Than Cho, says "we are delighted to be embarking on this new relationship with colleagues at the University of Otago.
"International partnerships help to strengthen our ability to address pressing national health needs. Much can be achieved by collaboration between the oldest and most distinguished universities in Myanmar and New Zealand."
University of Otago Vice-Chancellor Professor Harlene Hayne welcomed the initiative saying that universities have a duty to assist in reducing such health disparities worldwide through research, education, and service.
"I am excited that Otago is able to contribute to international progress by partnering with a major provider of health education, research, and service in Myanmar," Professor Hayne says.
Professor John Crump, McKinlay Professor of Global Health and Co-Director, Centre for International Health, says substantial, long-term collaborations with institutions in low-resource settings are the fundamental building blocks of global health initiatives by universities based in developed countries.
"These form the basis for meaningful exchange and activities in the areas of research, teaching, and service with a range of benefits for both partners," he says.
The collaboration between the University of Medicine (1) and the University of Otago will have an initial focus on research, training, and capacity building on infectious diseases and medical microbiology. However, it is anticipated that the relationship will expand over time to engage with a range of disciplines across the institutions both within and beyond the health sciences.
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About University of Medicine (1)
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