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Analysis: Laos to improve health and nutrition coverage

An agreement for an additional US$15 million funding from the World Bank will be used to expand health and nutrition coverage in the Lao People's Democratic Republic. It is expected to benefit more than 1 million people across 14 provinces.

The funding will be used to establish a unified approach to healthcare information systems and scale up current efforts to increase access to healthcare for reproductive, maternal and child health, and nutrition services in targeted areas of the country.

The boost in funding will also support a national campaign to encourage behavioural change towards nutrition.

“Despite some improvements, malnutrition affects nearly half of all children in Laos. Chronic malnutrition affects how well children learn and earn over the course of their lifetime,” said Ellen Goldstein, World Bank country director for Cambodia, Laos PDR, and Myanmar.

Launched in 2015, the project aims to integrate and strengthen health information systems, make additional resources available at the sub-national level to deliver priority health and nutrition services, and facilitate behaviour change for improved nutrition-related practices.

The financing also includes a US$4 million grant from the integrating donor-financed health programme (drawing on the government of Australia’s contribution to a multi-donor trust fund) that will focus on strengthening immunisation systems.

“Australia’s US$4 million contribution will help increase immunisation coverage in priority districts, and support the national immunisation programme to strengthen immunisation systems. This will result in healthier children and fewer outbreaks of infectious diseases,” said John Williams, Australian ambassador to Lao PDR.

US$1 million from the government of Japan is also earmarked to help improve the project’s information and monitoring systems. Once completed, the project is expected to help Lao PDR build a central and comprehensive health information system for the country.

“Japan is providing US$1 million to improve the health information system and support implementation of health sector reform. This will contribute to further strengthening evidence-based planning, decision making and program implementation, and thus lead to inclusive and effective improvement of the health of the Lao people,” said Kazuhiro Kuno, minister of embassy of Japan in the Lao PDR.

Posted on: 09/11/2017 UTC+08:00


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