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Japan pledges US$3m for Laos’ response to Covid-19

The government of Japan has pledged more than US$3 million (more than 26.9 billion kip) to strengthen the Covid-19 preparedness and response capacity of the Lao health system at both the central and provincial levels.
Japan will release the funds in partnership with the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) to help equip the country’s health system with essential medical supplies and equipment, UNOPS said in a press release.
UNOPS will carry out the procurement of medical supplies and equipment which will ensure country-level coordination, planning and monitoring, and provision of logistical management. The supplies and equipment will then be distributed to the Ministry of Health for use within the healthcare system.
The overall objective of the aid is to provide urgently needed medical supplies and equipment to hospitals and laboratories in Laos to ensure the functional provision of life-saving treatment for infected patients.
Aiming to support strengthened operational efficiency and the responsiveness of the Lao health system, one part of the grant will focus on the provision of critical equipment to laboratories at the central and provincial levels.
This intervention will help fill the gaps that have been identified with support from the National Centre for Laboratory and Epidemiology, Ministry of Health, and will allow for better prevention, diagnosis and treatment of Covid-19.
In addition, in order to lower the rate of Covid-19 transmission, the project will contribute to the procurement of personal protective equipment, so that the increased safety of doctors, health specialists and medical staff is ensured.
Head of Office of the Ministry of Health, Dr Nao Boutta, confirmed the pledged financial support and said he highly valued its significant contribution to strengthening the healthcare system.
“Ensuring that our medical workers have the necessary personal protective equipment and that laboratories are well-equipped is essential to adequately address the health risks caused by Covid-19. This contribution will help to further strengthen Laos’ response to the pandemic,” Dr Nao was quoted as saying in the press release.
UNOPS Multi-country Director, Sandrine Capelle-Manuel, said “While reported cases of Covid-19 in Laos have remained relatively low, the threat of the disease remains high. That is why this support from the government of Japan is so important. It will ensure that healthcare workers have the adequate protection to do their jobs and help save lives.”

By Times Reporters
(Latest Update June 12, 2020)

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