Dr. Cynthia Maung: N-Peace Champion of Myanmar 2018

March 6, 2019

Photo: UNDP Asia & Pacific

Praised for her work developing a system of providing emergency maternal healthcare in vulnerable and conflict situations in Myanmar, Dr. Cynthia Maung won an N-Peace Award under the category of ‘Untold Stories’.

The Untold Stories Award recognizes the efforts of women who have demonstrated skills in conflict resolution, prevention, and peacebuilding in their local communities. With women particularly affected by the lack of access to healthcare services, her important work has made an incredible impact on hundreds of thousands of people in Myanmar.

“Peace involves all sectors of society, but it is through adequate services, healthcare, and education that I think we can best empower communities to be resilient to conflict,” said Dr. Cynthia Maung.

Photo: UNDP Asia & Pacific

According to UNHCR, as of December 2018, there are almost 98,000 refugees on the Thai-Myanmar border fleeing violence. Dr. Cynthia Maung has spent the last three decades working to provide much needed maternal and reproductive healthcare for refugees, migrants, displaced persons and orphans regardless of their cultural, ethnic or religious background.

Herself an ethnic Karen, Dr. Cynthia became a refugee after the 8888 Uprising in 1989, and set up the Mae Tao Clinic, treating patients in Mae Sot (located at Thai-Myanmar border). In conflict situations, women, children, and marginalized groups face significant barriers to accessing medical care. Cases at the clinic originally ranged from those with malaria and respiratory diseases, to gunshot wounds and landmine injuries.

Today, Dr. Cynthia's clinic has one of the highest patients loads in reproductive health and associated areas. Each year, spearheaded by Dr. Cynthia, the clinic supports the delivery of over 2,300 babies. The clinic’s facilities and activities continue to grow, with an annual caseload exceeding 100,000,

and with a team of about 500 people providing comprehensive health services, training, and child protection services to support some of the most vulnerable communities in the Asia region. 

“This year’s winners are notable for their determined efforts to change the landscape of inequitable gender relations during and post conflict, particularly when it comes to sexual violence, and access to justice, services, and information,” said Valerie Cliff, UNDP Deputy Regional Director for Asia & the Pacific and Director of Bangkok Regional Hub.

N-Peace is a UNDP Asia-Pacific flagship initiative founded in 2010 to commemorate a decade of UNSCR 1325 implementation via the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda. N-Peace strengthens the role of women in peacebuilding and conflict resolution, operating across seven countries: Afghanistan, Indonesia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines and Sri Lanka. Dr. Cynthia Maung was one of 56 nominees for this year’s awards from the region.

Learn more about N-Peace Network - http://n-peace.net/