WHO praises Laos' compliance with int'l health regulations
Laos will use the successful results of the Joint External Evaluation (JEE) conducted by the World Health Organisation (WHO) to promote professionalism and transparency in the health sector, Minister of Health Associate Prof. Dr Bounkong Syhavong has said.
He made the comment at a closing workshop held in Vientiane on Friday to announce the results of the evaluation, which was attended by WHO Representative to Laos Dr Juliet Fleischl.
The WHO's Joint External Evaluation is an evaluation of countries' implementation of international health regulations and aims to promote the commitment of the health and non-health sectors to improve health security.
A senior official from Laos' Ministry of Health, who asked not to be named, said Laos had made remarkable progress in improving public health and following international health regulations.
Laos has strongly supported openness in data and information sharing across the health sector to comply with international health regulations, he added.
Laos is the third WHO member state in the Western Pacific Region to be evaluated under the scheme. The country's transparency throughout the evaluation process was testimony to its willingness to improve health security and enhanced national and international confidence in Laos' progress towards meeting international health regulations.
Also speaking at the meeting, Minister of Health Associate Prof. Dr Bounkong Syhavong said “I would like to express my appreciation to all the Joint External Evaluation team and the hard work they have done to deliver this successful outcome.”
Notable achievements had been made in the areas of communication, coordination, advocacy, surveillance systems, national laboratory capacity, and multi-sectoral disease outbreak response, he said.
Past experiences had shown that health security threats from infectious diseases and health emergencies were inevitable, he added.
Laos had followed international health regulations to help communities prevent and respond to acute health events that had the potential to cross borders and threaten populations worldwide.
Laos had established surveillance systems to detect acute public health events and trained multi-sectoral rapid response teams that could be quickly deployed to respond to disease outbreaks, he said.
JEE team leader Prof. Dr John Mackenzie said he was happy to present the results of the team's work.
“I would like to begin by expressing my appreciation to Laos for volunteering for the Joint External Evaluation. This shows tremendous commitment, foresight and leadership from the government, which is critical for success,” he added.
“Together, we have completed a voluntary Joint External Evaluation of Laos. Laos was dedicated to the process of self evaluation as well as the external evaluation.”
“We would like to acknowledge and commend the Ministry of Health and the entire national team for their unwavering support and commitment,” he added.
“The professionalism, transparency and willingness of our Lao hosts to seek solutions together with the team were instrumental to the success of this mission.”
(Latest Update February 27, 2017)