Ministry of Health Launches Project to Enhance Well-Being of Rural Children, Mothers

Ministry of Health Launches Project to Enhance Well-being of Rural Children, Mothers
FILE: this image is used only for representational purpose (photo: UNFPA)

The Ministry of Health has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to kick off a health project in a move to improve the health and nutrition of children and mothers in rural communities.

The project, titled “Community Health and Nutrition System Strengthening,” funded by the US Agency for International Development (USAID), is a collaboration initiative resulting from an MoU signing between the ministry, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), World Vision

The initiative is set to be carried out in nine districts across Khammouane, Savannakhet, and Attapeu provinces until March 2025.  

With a budget of LAK 13.3 billion (approximately USD 637,164.43), the implementation is guaranteed to benefit around 30,000 children, adolescents, and pregnant women by providing them with improved health and nutrition knowledge and skills. Additionally, it aims to enhance the capabilities of 89 health centers in the target areas. 

According to Phonepaseuth Ounaphom, Director General of the Ministry’s Hygiene and Health Promotion Department, the initiative is crucial as accessing health services remains a challenge in rural areas. Prioritizing primary health care is part of the ministry’s strategy to ensure universal health coverage in Laos.  

Edelweiss Silan, National Director for World Vision International Laos, expressed World Vision’s privilege in partnering with the Ministry of Health and UNICEF in this endeavor. She believed that strengthening their health capabilities would have a big impact on improving the well-being of children and mothers. 

This initiative aligns with the advice of Deputy Prime Minister Kikeo Khaykhamphithoune, who emphasized the need to enhance the public health sector during an annual meeting in Houaphan Province on 16 February. This included ensuring the installation of sufficient medical equipment in health facilities and improving standards among nursing staff, particularly in rural areas.  

Echoing the Deputy PM’s sentiment even further, Minister of Health Bounfeng Phoummalaysith stressed the importance of strengthening management in local systems and building the capacity of medical staff, including village physicians, midwives, and specialists. He also highlighted the success of the government’s health policies implementation which resulted in better quality health services.

With strong partnerships and focused efforts, Laos is taking significant strides toward achieving its goal of leaving no one behind in terms of health and well-being.