ADB supports health security in Laos, Mekong region
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the government on Friday signed an agreement for a US$12 million loan and grant package from 2017 to 2022, to bolster health security in 12 provinces of Laos and the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS).
|Mr Steven Schipani ( seated, left ) and Ms Thipphakone Chanthavongsa ( seated, right ) sign a loan and grant agreement on Friday.
The package will support the government's efforts to improve the control of emerging infectious diseases such as SARS and bird flu, as well as hospital services.
The agreement was signed by Deputy Minister of Finance Ms Thiphakhone Chanthavongsa and Officer-in-Charge at ADB's Lao Resident Mission, Mr Steven Schipani.
This support forms part of the GMS five-year health security project, which is focused on infection control and prevention in district hospitals along borders and economic corridors in 82 districts in the 12 provinces of Phongsaly, Luang Namtha, Oudomxay, Bokeo, Huaphan, Xieng Khuang, Borikhamxay, Khammuan, Saravan, Xekong, Champassak and Attapeu.
The government will contribute US$600,000 to the project costs. The programme will be implemented by the Ministry of Health, with an expected completion date of March 2022.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Mr Schipani said “Effective infectious disease control and prevention is a regional priority.”
The agreement will support the Ministry of Health's efforts to digitise its disease surveillance system and strengthen the outbreak rapid response teams in remote areas.
The project will equip laboratories and improve infection prevention and control in district hospitals along borders.
The project will also focus on migrant and mobile populations, ethnic communities and other vulnerable groups and populations living in remote borders areas who have limited access to health services.
The initiative is also expected to strengthen regional, cross border, and inter-agency information sharing and coordination of outbreak control between Laos and other GMS countries.
According to the ADB, the US$12 million assistance to the Lao government is part of a US$125 million loan and grant approved by ADB in November 2016 for the GMS countries Cambodia, Myanmar, Vietnam and Laos for the GMS Health Security project.
The ADB, based in Manila, the Philippines, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, the ADB is celebrating 50 years of development partnership in the region. It is owned by 67 members, 48 of whom come from the region.
By Phetphoxay Sengpaseuth
(Latest Update February 6, 2017)