November 15, 2022, Vientiane, Lao PDR: In Vientiane today, US Ambassador to Lao PDR HE Dr. Peter M. Haymond and WHO official Dr. Yu Lee Park handed over $2 million worth of equipment and medical supplies to HE Dr. Phayvanh Keopaseuth, Deputy Minister of Health. Products, including protective and medical equipment, drugs, test kits, oxygen supplies, laptops and tablets, are part of the United States Agency for Development’s ongoing support (USAID), through WHO, in the fight to end the COVID -19 pandemic and prepare for future health crises.
Acknowledging the assistance and strong partnership between the United States and Lao PDR, Dr. Keopaseuth said, “As we move forward together, recover from the pandemic and return to normal life, we must remain safe and vigilant against the cases that remain in the community, especially with events like the National Games and the return of tourism – these supplies will help us do just that by protecting the health of the community and healthcare workers.
Dr. Keopaseuth continued, “We thank both USAID and WHO for their continued support and broader assistance for COVID-19 vaccination and strengthening health protection across the country.” .
Funded by USAID and WHO, the supplies include 600,000 medical masks, 500,000 pairs of gloves, 250,000 surgical gowns, 289,000 rapid COVID-19 tests, 206 million liters of life-saving medical oxygen and 70 washing machines. administration for hospitals, 24,000 face shields, 50 laptops and tablets for better disease monitoring, and a range of other equipment and medicines.
The materials will be shipped nationwide to hospitals and health centers, with additional supplies delivered later in the year.
“Today’s donation is part of continued U.S. support to help the Lao government improve its nationwide surveillance, response, and risk reduction efforts to combat COVID-19,” the statement said. Ambassador Haymond. “The United States remains committed to supporting Lao PDR and other partner nations to end the global pandemic and rebuild the economy.”
Although the number of COVID-19 cases in Lao PDR is currently low, they are still detected in almost all provinces, indicating that community transmission is ongoing. New variants continue to be detected, and the elderly and those with underlying conditions remain particularly vulnerable.
“The prospect of a return to normal life is exciting for Lao PDR, but we must manage it wisely and safely,” Dr Park said. “We need to make sure the health system is ready if a further increase in cases occurs, we need to be ready to continue treating severe cases, and we need to continue to push for increased vaccination coverage, especially for people elderly and other vulnerable populations.
“This support will help address the remaining risks of COVID-19, as well as those of other diseases, and will play an important role in strengthening the country’s health system in the longer term with equipment and technologies. . We are extremely grateful for this continued support.
This equipment is part of an ongoing collaboration between the US Government and WHO supporting health in Lao PDR, including COVID-19 response and recovery efforts, COVID-19 and immunization support for health laboratory strengthening and disease surveillance, epidemic surveillance, health emergency management, and health systems strengthening in Lao PDR.
Lao PDR Ministry of Health
Mr. Visith Khamlusa, Director of Health Communication and Education Center, +856 20 2250 2862, [email protected]
WHO Country Office in Lao PDR
Mr. Will Seal, Technical Officer (Communications)
Tel: +856 20 55 510 788
Email: [email protected]
United States Embassy Vientiane
Athit Chanthalath, Communications Specialist, USAID Laos, +856 20 55552833, [email protected]