Laos, China Collaborate to Advance Traditional Medicine

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Lao local traditional medicines (Photo: Pha Khao Lao)

Traditional medicines in Laos are poised for broader recognition as a state-run pharmaceutical enterprise partnered with three Chinese agencies to enhance the therapeutic potential of traditional medicine in the country.

On 19 March, in a move aimed at promoting research in traditional medicine in Laos, State Enterprise Pharmaceutical Factory No. 3 teamed up with China’s Kmoeba (Zhuhai Hengqin) Biomedical Co., Ltd., Guangdong Engineering Centre for Traditional Chinese Medicine, and National Chi Nan University.

This partnership comes at a time when traditional medicine is gaining recognition worldwide for its holistic approach to health and well-being.

In Laos, traditional Lao medicines have been integral to healthcare in remote areas where access to modern facilities is limited. These remedies passed down through generations, reflect the traditional cultural heritage of Laos. However, despite its significance, traditional medicine in Laos is facing the threat of extinction.

At the signing ceremony, Lahounh Chanthabout, the Managing Director of State Enterprise Pharmaceutical Factory No. 3, emphasized the importance of cooperation between the state and private sectors in advancing traditional medicine. 

To this end, the Lao government has long been promoting the use of traditional medicine for preventing and treating illnesses, both in urban areas and in remote regions with limited access to healthcare facilities.

For instance, in 2020, State Enterprise Pharmaceutical Factory No. 3 was also involved in manufacturing Molacovir, an oral medication developed by U.S. scientists for treating COVID-19, playing a pivotal role in healthcare development.

Moreover, pharmaceutical manufacturers in Laos have developed herbal capsules to treat COVID-19 patients, utilizing research and development from local medicinal plants such as Andrographis paniculata and Houttuynia cordata.

Despite the challenges traditional medicines face, the Lao government remains committed to promoting their use and enhancing their capabilities through collaboration with various sectors.