Underreported: Health Crisis in Burma

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Burma/Myanmar has been under military rule since 1962, and decades of repression, civil war, and poor governance have contributed to the spread of infectious diseases like HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria. Now the Burmese government's extreme travel restrictions have forced most aid workers out of the country. On the first part of today's Underreported, Leonard speaks with Aryeh Neier, President of the Open Society Institute, and Brian Williams, UNAIDS country coordinator for Burma, about the dire health conditions in Burma.

Aryeh Neier and Brian Williams will be participating in a panel discussion on the challenges of delivering humanitarian aid to Burma, co-sponsored by the Asia Society and the Open Society Institute. The panel is called "Human Rights and Public Health: The Burma/Myanmar Tragedy."
The panel is tonight, Sept. 13, from 6:30 - 8:00 pm
at the Asia Society
725 Park Avenue (at 70th Street)
New York City
For tickets, call the Asia Society box office at (212) 517-ASIA or visit


Aryeh Neier and Brian Williams

Comments [2]

Guy Stallworthy from USA

I agree that the discussion should have focussed on how the international community can increase assistance in Burma/Myanmar without compromising political or ethical principles.

However, I wonder if this Julie Belanger is the same Julie Belanger who is the wife of Brian Williams of UNAIDS and works for UNDP in Burma/Myanmar. If it is, I think she should have said so.

Guy Stallworthy (Country Representative in Burma/Myanmar for Population Services international, 2002-2006).

Sep. 25 2007 11:12 AM
Julie Belanger from Canada

I was rather disappointed by the focus of your questions during this interview. While trying to get some facts on the public health situation and response, you offered Mr. Neier too many opportunities to tell us how bad the junta is (which is something everyone agrees on including the agencies working inside Burma)and very little was said on how to address the relevant problems. Mr. Neier did not tell us what he thinks should be done. Maybe Mr. Williams tried but was given very little space to do so.

Sep. 13 2007 11:12 PM

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