$1.6 million worth of supplies handed over by the European Union and UNICEF to improve nutrition in Lao PDR
Vientiane, 17 November – Today, the European Union and UNICEF are handing over nutrition supplies with a total value of USD 1.6 million to the Ministry of Health (MoH) to support Lao PDR’s response to the high levels of malnutrition, which has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The supplies handed over will contribute to strengthening the nationwide implementation of core interventions in health, nutrition and water and sanitation to enhance primary health care and nutrition services in Lao PDR. The supplies will be disseminated to key departments within MoH to be distributed across all provinces and will support the Lao Government in meeting its national commitment for the reduction of malnutrition in the country.
“The fight against malnutrition is more important now than ever and requires a concerted effort to sustain the progress we have made in recent decades,” said H.E. Dr. Snong Thongsna, the Vice Minister of Health. “The Ministry of Health would like to thank the European Union and UNICEF for their contribution and continued support towards improving the nutrition of Lao children,” he added.
The supplies include 122 laptops and 467 tablets that will support the planning, monitoring, analyzing and reporting on nutrition interventions, routine data collection through health facilities, nutrition sentinel surveillance and on-the-job training for the treatment of acute malnutrition.
Other supplies include training equipment such as course simulator to strengthen the Breast Feeding Accreditation course to support breastfeeding counselling; 64 chlorine machines for provincial and district hospitals throughout all 18 province hospitals to improve the sanitation in hospital facilities; nutrition supplies to help treat around 3300 children with severe acute malnutrition; loudspeakers and microphones will help disseminate information about nutrition and vaccination for pregnant and breastfeeding women.
“The EU and our partners remain strongly committed to supporting the Government of Lao PDR in addressing all forms of malnutrition across and within relevant sectors, as well as to strengthen multi-stakeholders’ partnerships towards the eradication of poverty and achievement of the SDGs,” said H.E Ms. Ina Marciulionyte, the EU Ambassador to Lao PDR.
In addition to the nutrition supplies, oxygen concentrators and oximeters were also provided to support the treatment of COVID-19 patients in Lao PDR during the pandemic.
“UNICEF remains deeply committed to supporting the Government of Lao PDR in addressing the ongoing nutrition challenges in country, including the planning, budgeting, delivery and monitoring of nutrition interventions, including the life-saving curative nutrition services for children suffering from severe acute malnutrition. The arrival of these supplies is also timely for Lao PDR as COVID-19 has exacerbated malnutrition levels in the country,” said Dr. Pia Rebello Britto, UNICEF Representative to Lao PDR.
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