In Rakhine State, travel restrictions that kill

As conflict rages on in the state, many are dying of treatable health conditions due to the regime’s bid for complete control of residents’ movements

For the past seven years, Khin Hla* has suffered from rheumatoid arthritis, a condition worsened by her diabetes and heart disease. But in recent months, the 33-year-old tailor’s health problems have been further complicated by where she lives—in a village on Rakhine State’s Ramree Island.

Due to the ongoing conflict in the state and travel restrictions imposed by Myanmar’s military junta, she was long prevented from making the 17-mile trip from her village to Kyaukphyu, the largest town on the island, to get the medical attention she needed.

Even as the symptoms of her poor health, which included severe headaches and low blood pressure, grew steadily worse, leaving the village remained an impossibility.

“I took some medicine from a local clinic, just to ease the pain, but  my blood pressure kept deteriorating,” she told Myanmar Now.

Eventually, she began to lose the. . .

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