WHO expands support to health sector
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has forecast a budget of over US$2 million in assistance to Laos from 2017 to 2018 to improve the health sector in the country.
The WHO yesterday confirmed that it will continue to provide around US$2 million in support each fiscal year from 2017 to 2021.
Laos can also submit proposals to request increased support in the event of a disease outbreak which requires response such as dengue and other diseases, health officials said.
The agreement signing ceremony was held yesterday in Vientiane between WHO Regional Director for the Western Pacific, Dr Shin Young-soo and Minister of Health, Associate Prof. Dr Bounkong Syhavong and head of the Health Department at the Ministry.
Dr Shin Young-soo said “I trust that this Country Cooperation Strategy (CCS ) will guide us well over the next five years as we work together to improve the health of the people in the Laos.”
He added that the extended support will launch the new WHO and Laos CCS for 2017 to 2021, aiming to sustain the Lao government's health improvements and support the government to address emerging health challenges in the country over the next five years.
This strategy or CCS provides the mid-term vision for the WHO and Laos to work together for the next five years, he said.
The WHO will continue to deliver country support in implementation of key regional policies and strategies. In the spirit of continued solidarity and partnership, the WHO will work to support the government to these five key directions into action, he added.
Dr Bounkong said this support is affirms the constructive partnership between WHO and the Ministry of Health to support health sector reform and its quest to achieve University Health Sciences coverage.
Together they will improve service delivery of public health programmes so as reaching the vulnerable groups and protecting the public against vaccine preventable diseases like polio, measles and rubella.
To enhance health security, the WHO will work with Laos on finishing the job on international health regulations, to guard against emerging infectious diseases, as well as other pressing global challenges such as antimicrobial resistance, he said.
There is a need to facilitate effective policy and dialogue to harmonise the work of health development partners and promote multi-sector approaches, as many drivers of these key health challenges are outside the health sector.
By Phetphoxay Sengpaseuth
(Latest Update February 22, 2017)