(KPL) The Government of Japan has decided to provide grant aid amounting to JPY 1.94 billion, about US$17.7 million to Laos to fund the improvement of Setthathirath Hospital and Champassak Provincial Hospital.
A signing ceremony for the Exchange of Notes on the grant aid was held at the Prime Minister’s Office, Vientiane between Mr Takeshi Hikihara, Japanese Ambassador to Laos and Mrs Khamphao Ernthavanh, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs.
Minister to Prime Minister’s Office, Mr Alounkeo Kittikhoun and Adviser to the Prime Minister of Japan, Mr Kentaro Sonoura and senior officials of both sides witnessed the event.
The Lao government identifies in its 8th National Socio-Economic Development Plan the health sector as one of the most important, and classifies in its 8th Health Sector Development Plan 2016-2020 the improvement of health care services as a prioritized area.
Further, the Ministry of Health is promoting the implementation of the Health Sector Reform Strategies and Framework 2025 aiming at achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC).
Setthathirath Hospital, one of the five central hospitals in Vientiane and built with a Japanese grant aid in 2000, is one of the target hospitals of the project.
In recent years, facilities have not been functioning well due to the increase in outpatients as well as the deterioration of equipment. It has thus become difficult to provide appropriate diagnosis and treatment.
The other target hospital, Champasack Provincial Hospital located in Pakse City, is expected to provide the same level of medical services as that of central hospitals.
Nevertheless, the increased number of emergency referrals and surgeries require more advanced techniques. It is anticipated that this grant aid, which provides advanced medical technologies and clinical training, will help the government of the Lao PDR in improving its medical services.
For many years, Japan has emphasized the global health agenda from the perspective of human security.
In particular, the promotion of UHC is an essential element of the initiative to realize a society that leaves no one behind, the core principle of the Sustainable Development Goal. Through this project, Japan will support the efforts of the Lao government to achieve UHC.
Source: Lao News Agency