The US Ambassador to Laos Rena Bitter on Aug 24 visited the Centre for HIV/AIDS and STI, the Maternal and Child Health Centre, and the Laboratory and Epidemiology Centre at the Ministry of health to find out whether the funding provided by the US government to these centres is spent effectively.
“Lao PDR still faces problems regarding health services, especially those for mothers and children as we lack trained technical staff and modern medical equipment to equip district hospitals and dispensaries,” said Deputy Minister of Health, Dr Phouthone Mouangpak.
“To achieve the national graduation from the least developed country status by 2020, the government has increased health budget. Realizing these efforts conducted by the Lao government, US has granted financial assistance, medical equipment and technical assistance to our ministry,” said Dr Phouthone.
Since 2015, the United States through its USAID has provided over US$ 700,000 annually to support anti-AIDS efforts in Laos including US$450,000 through USAID, US$ 200,000 through PEPFAR and US$ 100,000 through USCDC-WHO.
“Our anti-AIDS activities are being implemented successfully in three provinces namely Vientiane Capital, Savannakhet and Champassak,” said Dr Phouthone.
The US also provided more than three million US dollars supporting Laos’ national vaccination efforts since 2010.