WHO and UNICEF Recommit to jointly Accelerating Maternal and Child Health, and Immunization in Lao PDR

WHO and UNICEF Recommit to jointly Accelerating Maternal and Child Health, and Immunization in Lao PDR

04 November 2020

Vientiane, 4 November 2020 – The World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF have signed a new global collaborative framework to accelerate joint public health efforts that put the most marginalized and vulnerable populations first.

The new Strategic Collaboration Framework builds on a robust 70-year collaboration between the two organizations and prioritizes four strategic areas for immediate attention and action at all levels of the organizations: universal health coverage, through a primary health care and health systems approach; mental health and psychosocial well-being and development; public health emergencies; and maternal and child nutrition.

The new global collaborative framework underscores the close collaboration between the two organizations in Lao PDR where WHO and UNICEF are supporting the Government to strengthen the health system in pursuit of universal health coverage. WHO and UNICEF collaboration focuses in particular on improving immunization coverage, advancing reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health and strengthening health & nutrition information systems.  

In 2018, WHO and UNICEF hosted the Global Conference on Primary Health Care in Astana.  In line with the Declaration of Astana, the Ministry of Health of Lao PDR revised its Primary Health Care (PHC) policy, providing a solid basis for the two organizations to support national efforts to strengthen the community health system.

“At country level, this partnership will facilitate a stronger collaboration towards health system strengthening. We aim to join forces in order to improve the quality of primary health care and building a resilient and sustainable community health system, enhancing linkages between the formal health system and other sectors including WASH, Education, Child Protection and Social Protection,” said Dr. Pia Rebello Britto, [title].

“In Lao PDR WHO and UNICEF have been working together very closely for many years, so the new partnership reinforces what we are already doing. It will reinforce our Joint Programme with UNICEF and UNFPA to strengthen mother and child health services, our close cooperation to support Lao PDR’s National Immunization Programme and of course our support for Lao PDR’s response to the COVID pandemic.” Said Dr Mark Jacobs, WHO Representative to Lao PDR. “We look forward to extending our cooperation with UNICEF into new areas such as mental and psychosocial wellbeing and life skills under the new framework.”

For more than 70 years, WHO and UNICEF have worked together worldwide to ensure children survive and thrive, and benefit from a safe and clean environment. Today, WHO and UNICEF continue to work together to stop the COVID-19 pandemic and ensure that every woman and every child continue to have access to the essential health services they need. 

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, both organizations have been working hand in hand to strengthen COVID-19 preparedness and response. Along with GAVI and other global health partners, WHO and UNICEF are key organizations involved in the global COVAX facility, a global risk-sharing mechanism for pooled procurement and equitable distribution of eventual COVID-19 vaccines.

In Lao PDR, WHO and UNICEF are supporting the Ministry of Health to put in place the necessary preparations for rolling-out a COVID-19 vaccine once it is available. Now more than ever, global health organizations need to work together to face known and unprecedented health challenges and ensure universal access to quality health services.


The World Health Organization

The World Health Organization (WHO) provides global leadership in public health within the United Nations system. Founded in 1948, WHO works with 194 Member States, across six regions and from more than 150 offices, to promote health, keep the world safe and serve the vulnerable. Our goal for 2019-2023 is to ensure that a billion more people have universal health coverage, to protect a billion more people from health emergencies, and provide a further billion people with better health and wellbeing.

For information in Lao and English on WHO’s activities in Lao PDR visit www.who.int/laos  For the latest information in English from WHO on COVID-19 visit https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019

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