Multi-year Impact of Health Obstructions on COVID-19 Fatalities in Post-coup Myanmar (81026)

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Session: On Demand
Room: Virtual Video Presentation
Presentation Type: Virtual Presentation

All presentation times are UTC + 9 (Asia/Tokyo)

Myanmar’s coup d’état of February 2021 deposed the democratically elected civilian administration with a military dictatorship, destabilizing the region with internal conflict and undue political imprisonments in the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic. Consequently, the sudden overthrow of the government revealed the fatal implications of politicizing public health crises and serves as a prominent modern representation of an unjust seizure of power and bio-weaponization. However, existing literature has relied predominantly on qualitative data to describe the unsettling humanitarian crisis in Myanmar, insufficiently highlighting a fraction of a multifaceted campaign against human rights. To address this large gap in understanding, the current work departs from the qualitative focus of existing work on regions like the Kashmir Valley, Palestine, and Syria, and instead leverages quantitative methodology to draw relationships between socio-political factors, healthcare obstruction (e.g., 'Health Workers Killed', 'Forceful Entry into Health Facility') and multi-year COVID-19 fatalities in Myanmar (2020 - 2023). Multivariate regression analysis results show significant associations between healthcare obstruction, vaccination uptake, testing, new cases, and COVID-19 fatalities, signaling that every additional incident of either healthcare obstruction, new COVID-19 case, or recorded testing incident is related with a staggering increase in COVID-19 fatalities. My findings emphasize the urgent need to address the weaponization of pandemics through political and public health interventions by authoritarian powers. And more, this study highlights yet another large-scale humanitarian crisis in Myanmar and sparks a debate on the fundamental constitution of preventing the effects of disease weaponization and bio-warfare at the national- and international-level.

Rachel Set Aung, Columbia University, United States

About the Presenter(s)
Rachel Set Aung is a recent graduate of Columbia University and currently a Research Scientist at ICF International. Her research interests include using analysis to conduct research with social impact.

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Posted by Clive Staples Lewis

Last updated: 2023-02-23 23:45:00