VIENTIANE, LAOS — Continuing the United States’ longstanding support to the Lao health sector, U.S. Ambassador to Laos Dr. Peter M. Haymond presented 50,000 malaria diagnostic kits to Vice Minister of Health Dr. Bounfeng Phoummalaisith at a ceremony in Vientiane on November 13. These rapid test kits, provided through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), will be distributed to public health facilities in areas where the number of malaria cases remains high. This donation is the first part of a larger shipment coming next year that will help the Government of Lao PDR maintain stocks of this important tool in the fight against malaria.
“The United States is proud to continue working with the Government of Lao PDR and our public health partners through this contribution of lifesaving supplies to prevent malaria transmission, and to support Lao PDR in its mission to eliminate malaria by 2030,” Ambassador Haymond.
The handover is the most recent example of U.S. support to the Lao PDR in combating infectious diseases, including COVID-19, malaria, HIV/AIDS, and others. USAID has already provided and distributed more than 700,000 mosquito nets, 500,000 diagnostic tests, and 70,000 anti-malarial treatments for the Lao people, valued at more than US$3.5 million. Separately, in the fight against COVID-19, the United States has provided assistance worth more than $7.5 million since the beginning of 2020.
Today’s contribution represents the latest U.S. support for the Center of Malariology, Parasitology, and Entomology and the Ministry of Health. Assistance from the United States under the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) is intended to strengthen the Lao PDR health system, particularly its capacity to combat malaria and mosquito-borne diseases. This is part of a broader effort by the United States to support resilient medical supply chains for countries in the Indo-Pacific region.