Project Longhurst: pregnant mothers fleeing conflict in Burma (HART UK)

Chris Broome – Chartered Financial Planner

We promised to bring you regular updates on  our corporate charitable giving programme, ‘Project Longhurst’, which aims to support organisations involved in humanitarian, animal welfare, environmental and financial education causes.

This latest press release from our humanitarian partner, HART UK, highlights the devastating situation for pregnant mothers in Shan State, Burma, who are facing an increased risk of miscarriage, stillbirth, or premature birth, as they flee conflict to remote jungles.

Burma 2024

“We remain gravely concerned for the civilian population of Burma as violence is expected to escalate to an alarming level in Spring-Summer 2024.

We wish to emphasise our deep gratitude to all those who enabled HART to reinforce our partners’ life-saving interventions in response to the scale of the crisis, including The Aall Foundation, the Coles-Medlock Foundation, Project Longhurst, and generous HART supporters via the 2023-24 Big Give campaign.”

(Quote taken from this visit report by HART)


Miscarriages and stillbirths are increasing in war-torn Shan State, Burma

Pregnant mothers in Shan State are fleeing conflict to remote jungles and giving birth in highly dangerous locations, according to a fact-finding report by HART.

The mothers’ search for food is a daily struggle, which adds to the risk of miscarriage and stillbirths. Their babies may be born prematurely or suffer from infections. Yet there is almost no special care to help them survive.

Sam Mason, Chief Executive of HART, says:

“As more and more people seek shelter in remote locations, HART is scaling up its humanitarian response. Our local partners are perfectly placed to help people in need. This includes emergency obstetric services so that mothers can give birth safely and care for their newborns.”

HART’s report, published today, is based on first-hand accounts of frontline medical workers, witnesses to atrocities and local human rights activists. It warns of escalating military attacks against Shan villages and the deliberate targeting of hospitals and medical facilities.

The violence has resulted in massive levels of displacement, restricted access to food and medicines, and severe disruption to maternal, newborn and child health services. Frontline medical workers have observed increased incidents of miscarriages and stillbirths.

Burma 2024

Despite the urgent needs, few international organisations are able to reach conflict-affected communities. One of HART’s local partners in Shan State, who supports displaced women through pregnancy and childbirth, says:

“We are often the only healthcare providers in our catchment areas. Our communities rely on us to save lives and treat the sick. There is so rarely any other help.”

HART is urging international powers to strengthen their efforts on Burma. It calls for border countries, Thailand and India, to allow unhindered delivery of cross-border humanitarian assistance. Sam Mason says:

“Lives are at stake. It must not be left to a handful of small organisations to tackle this crisis on our own. We call on international powers to step up their response, without delay.”

Find out more

To read more about Project Longhurst, please visit our dedicated website page.

For more information about HART, visit their website.