(KPL) U.S. Ambassador to the Lao PDR Rena Bitter presented more than 174,000 additional mosquito nets to Mr. Khamphone Phoutthavong, Deputy Minister of Health, at a ceremony in Vientiane on Jul 9.
These mosquito nets will be distributed to families in rural areas of the southern province of Champassak, where the number of malaria cases remains high.
“The U.S. Government is proud to continue working with the government of Laos and our public health partners to contribute lifesaving supplies to prevent malaria transmission, and support Laos in its mission to eliminate malaria by 2030,” Ambassador Bitter said.
Laos achieved a steady decline in malaria cases over the past decade and has made significant progress in achieving its goal. The number of malaria cases in the country has dropped by 90 per cent in recent years, down from a peak of 50,000 cases during an outbreak in 2014 to 9,000 cases in 2018.
This mosquito net contribution represents the latest U.S. effort to support the Center of Malariology, Parasitology, and Entomology and the Ministry of Health.
The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) leads this programme, through the President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI), a U.S. Government initiative to control and eliminate malaria, one of the leading global causes of premature death and disability.
This project aims to ensure an uninterrupted supply of public health resources and related technical assistance to strengthen the health system within Laos. This is part of a broader effort by the United States to support development of a comprehensive medical supply chain for countries in the region, including the Lao PDR.
The United States works closely with the Ministry of Health to identify and fill commodity gaps within regional public health supply chains. The programme has already provided and distributed more than 610,600 mosquito nets, 370,000 diagnostic tests, and 111,740 anti-malarial treatments to the Lao people.
In total, the U.S. Government has contributed more than US$1.9 million to support the Lao government in its fight against malaria.
Source: Lao News Agency