VIENTIANE, LAO PDR — Embassy of the United States of America Deputy Chief of Mission Joy Michiko Sakurai on August 18 handed over US$183,000 in equipment and supplies to the Department of Communicable Disease Control (DCDC) of the Ministry of Health to help the Lao PDR in its continued fight COVID-19 and other communicable diseases. The ceremony took place at the Ministry of Health and was attended by Minister of Health Dr. Bounfeng Phoummalaysith, and senior officials from health-related departments of the Ministry of Health.
The equipment and supplies will be used for Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) and Point of Entry (POE) operations. Specifically, the materials will support COVID-related work at EOC facilities in 13 target provinces and in POE facilities at 20 international borders across the country. These supplies will improve capacity at the subnational level to monitor and coordinate their response to COVID-19, including reporting and monitoring tools.
“The U.S. CDC, which donated these supplies and equipment, has worked with the Lao Ministry of Health for almost two decades. This year, the United States and Lao PDR celebrate the 5th anniversary of the U.S.-Lao Comprehensive Partnership. The United States is proud to continue to support you and the Ministry of Health in protecting the people of Laos from infectious diseases, including COVID-19,” said DCM Joy Sakurai.
The U.S. CDC has provided US$3.6 million in funding to the Lao PDR to support capacity building to detect local transmission of the COVID-19 virus and provide useful information to public health authorities to effectively plan and implement appropriate control and intervention measures. This support will cover six priority areas, including surveillance, laboratory/diagnostics, infection prevention and control in healthcare facilities, emergency operations, border health and community mitigation, and vaccine preparedness and disease prevention. Today’s handover is part of over $8 million in direct COVID-related assistance that the U.S. government has provided to the Lao PDR since the beginning of the outbreak.