Experts from the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) last week conducted a preliminary study on improving access to maternal and child healthcare services in villages through mobile clinics, under the Korea Aid Project.
Aligned with the strategies of the Lao government on public health and Korea’s Better Life for Girls initiative, the Korea Aid Project is designed to provide mobile health clinics for communities that have limited access to quality health services, mainly for maternal health.
The project has three components: medical services, nutrition, and hygiene and health education.
If the feasibility of the project is determined through the study, it is expected that KOICA will fund US$7 million over the next five years.
According to the KOICA Laos office, the main objective of the preliminary study is to make a proper evaluation of the feasibility of the project through site investigation and develop a project design including identifying the project site.
The preliminary study team held meetings with government officials and development partners to discuss the feasibility of the Korea Aid Project and ways to collaborate with outreach programmes in Laos, especially focusing on Integrated Services in Reproductive Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health.
During the study period, the team visited and conducted a situation analysis on the outreach healthcare system in Luang Prabang, which will be the project site.
Director General of the Hygiene and Health Promotion Department at the Ministry of Health, Dr Phath Keungsaneth, said even though the government provides outreach healthcare programmes to people in remote areas, many villages are neglected.
By combining the Korea Aid Project and integrated healthcare outreach programmes run by the Lao government, I strongly believe it will have a greater impact on increasing accessibility to healthcare programmes for the people of Laos, he added.
Resident Representative of the KOICA Laos office, Mr. Hahng-Joo Kim, also expressed his anticipation of future collaboration with the Ministry of Health.
Through the Korea Aid Project, marginalised people, including the smaller ethnic groups, will be able to enjoy decent healthcare services.
Source: Vientiane Times