VIENTIANE, LAO PDR — U.S. Ambassador to Lao PDR, Dr. Peter M. Haymond handed over personal protective equipment to Dr. Phouthone Muoangpak, Vice Minister of Health, at a ceremony in Vientiane today as part of the United States’ early assistance to Lao PDR to prepare for any potential spread of the novel coronavirus.
The equipment, donated by the United States through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), includes 440 protective goggles, 1,500 surgical gowns, and 220 face shields, along with biohazard disposal bags, aprons, N95 face masks, safety boxes, gloves, and hand sanitizer supplies. This equipment will be distributed to regional centers and provinces in greatest need of the supplies.
“Today’s handover of medical supplies highlights the meaning of the U.S.-Lao Comprehensive Partnership,” said Ambassador Haymond. “These critical supplies will help support medical professionals and health workers as Laos strives to prevent the spread of new infectious diseases, including the novel coronavirus. We are proud to support Lao health workers and at-risk populations in this effort,” he said.
Personal protective equipment will enable health workers throughout Laos to respond quickly and safely to potential patients, who may display cold or flu-like symptoms. This assistance package comes at the request of the Lao Ministry of Health’s Department of Communicable Disease Control.
In addition to this emergency assistance, the United States works in close partnership with the government and citizens of Laos on a range of programs to improve health outcomes in Lao PDR. These include long-term efforts to improve nutrition through school feeding, programs to address maternal and child health, and efforts to address and prevent infectious diseases.