PSI Provides US$2.4 Million to Fight Malaria

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Population Services International to Laos (PSI) has agreed to provide over US$2.4 million for fiscal year 2017-2018 to strengthen the private health sector’s capacity to combat malaria.

A signing ceremony for the agreement was held on Tuesday between the Director General of the Communicable Disease Control Department, Dr Bounlay Phommasack, and PSI representative, Mr Sihamano Bannavong.

The funding for 12 months is part of ongoing support under the Strengthening Capacity Amongst the Private Health Sector for Malaria Prevention and Surveillance project which aims to curb malaria in the three southern provinces of Champassak, Saravan and Savannakhet.

Speaking at the signing ceremony Dr Bounlay Phommasack said the project would cover malaria prevention and surveillance in the three provinces because they had the highest rate of the disease in the country.

He said the support would provide training on the treatment and reporting of malaria for the owners of pharmacies, clinics and private hospitals to assure quality of treatment, diagnosis and reporting of malaria cases according to government policy.

For several years, officials and local health authorities had been promoting the regular emptying of containers that collect standing water, and the clearing of any undergrowth around homes, he said.

Every family should throw out water that collects in jars, vases and dishes and should cover such vessels to prevent more water filling them up. Schools, hospitals, factories, hotels, restaurants, tourist facilities and offices should organise cleaning activities to remove any sources of stagnant water to prevention malaria, he added.

He explained the important role the project was playing in fighting the disease under the National Prevention and Control Malaria Strategic Plan (2016-2025) and Plan of Action (2016-2020) to provide a common framework for all stakeholders to accelerate the nationwide scale up of evidenced-led malaria reduction interventions by the government, development partners, the private sector and all stakeholders.

It stipulates the priority interventions, strategic re-orientation and investment required for achieving the goals and targets.

PSI representative Mr Sihamano Bannavong said they would continue to provide support to Laos for malaria prevention and control.

We learned many important lessons this year in terms of social mobilisation, the need to use an integrated multispectral approach for malaria control, and getting communities involved in maintaining a clean environment to prevent the breeding of mosquitoes, he said.

Source: Vientiane Times

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