We, the undersigned and the organisations we represent, are united in calling for the safe and unconditional release of the President of the Myanmar Emergency Medicine Society, Professor Maw Maw Oo, following his arrest and detention on Monday 12 April 2021.
An integral figure in the Myanmar, and global emergency care community, Professor Maw Maw Oo was arrested and detained while on duty treating patients at the Yangon General Hospital emergency department, where he serves as Director.
Professor Maw Maw Oo is a widely respected figure both in Myanmar and internationally. He is Professor and Head of Emergency Medicine at the University of Medicine (1), Yangon, and at the Yangon General Hospital. In 2020 he was appointed to Emergency Clinical lead for Myanmar’s national and regional COVID-19 response for the country.
He has held numerous other high-profile national, regional and international medical leadership roles, and has played a key role in international, bilateral and multilateral emergency care education and development programs, including national and regional disaster preparedness and response.
His dedication and commitment to the establishment and advancement of emergency medicine in Myanmar as a clinician, educator and leader, as well as his service to the people of his nation is greatly admired in Myanmar, as well as globally.
Our organisations share the same grave concerns for the welfare of Professor Maw Maw Oo as his colleagues in Myanmar, who have not heard from him since his abduction. His ongoing detention represents a critical threat to Myanmar’s emergency medicine and healthcare systems more broadly, and undermines the ability of all healthcare workers to provide emergency care to the citizens of Myanmar.
As members of the global emergency medicine community, we urge Professor Maw Maw Oo’s immediate, safe and unconditional release.
In calling for the safe release of Professor Maw Maw Oo, and safety of all our colleagues in Myanmar, we urge the international community to do all in its power to ensure the upholding of international humanitarian and human rights law, and that peace and democracy is restored to the country.
Dr John Bonning
President, Australasian College for Emergency Medicine
Dr Katherine Henderson
President, Royal College of Emergency Medicine
Professor Tamorish Kole
President, Asian Society for Emergency Medicine
Professor Sally McCarthy
President, International Federation for Emergency Medicine
Professor Edgardo Menendez