UNICEF provides essential supplies to help the Government of Lao PDR prepare for COVID-19
Vientiane, 11 March 2020
Vientiane, Lao PDR, 11 March 2020 – UNICEF hands over personal protective equipment (PPE) to the Ministry of Health to support the country’s response and preparedness for COVID-19.
UNICEF Representative, Dr Octavian Bivol handed the essential supplies over to H.E. Assoc. Prof. Dr. Phouthone Muongpak, Vice Minister of Health today during an official handover ceremony. The supplies, which include surgical masks, gowns, aprons, caps and gloves, as well as face-shields and coveralls, will be distributed to designated referral hospitals for key front-line staff, working the COVID-19 response.
“Lao PDR has no confirmed cases of COVID-19, but these supplies help us to prepare and equip hospitals around the country,” said Prof. Dr. Phouthone Moungpak, Vice Minister of Health.
The 17 cubic meters of supplies form part of UNICEF’s overall support to the Government in the COVID-19 preparedness and response plan, which also includes communications, media support, education, and child protection. A further 600 boxes of supplies has already being procured by UNICEF and will be handed over this week.
“If COVID-19 cases do appear in Lao PDR, it is essential that the doctors and nurses at the front line of the response are fully protected,” said UNICEF Representative Dr. Octavian Bivol. “If we each make the effort to wash our hands properly with soap and water, and to cover our mouths when we cough or sneeze, we will be helping to prevent any virus from spreading” he added.
UNICEF has also supported the development of the COVID-19 communications plan as part of the Government’s Communications Taskforce. This includes training and orientation for the media, development of key messages and multimedia materials as well as developing appropriate information products for schools and communities.
UNICEF also plans to support the government by organizing COVID-19 training for 540 key health workers across all 18 provinces, as well as further media participation workshops for journalists in northern, central and southern provinces.
UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, to build a better world for everyone.
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org.