Tag Archives: jica

Passengers Plus: 2nd Terminal In Plans for Wattay International Airport in Laos’ Capital Vientiane

Vientiane's Wattay International Airport in 2018 (Hazama Ando Corporation)

Increasing passenger numbers via Vientiane’s Wattay Airport as Laos pushes plans for a second terminal forward in capital.

1000 Strong As JICA Volunteers From Japan Surpass Millennium Milestone in Laos

Celebrating 1000 Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers To Laos via JICA.

Warm welcome as the arrival of eleven Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers from JICA takes Japan International Cooperation Agency past the one-thousand milestone in Laos.

Agriculture and Community Development, Education, Health, Law, Public Works, Water Treatment, Sanitation and Waste Management.

These are just some of the many areas in which Laos has seen rapid development over the decades, making the country a safer, healthier, cleaner and more comfortable place to live.

These important areas are also among the many where contributions of grants, aid, and exchanges with Japan have been warmly welcomed.

This includes technical expertise and assistance thanks to no less than one thousand Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers (JOCV).

●Mr. Takatsugu NAKAYAMA (Environmental and Sanitary Engineering, NUOL, right)One scene of my lecture introducing…

Posted by JICA Laos -ອົງການຮ່ວມມືສາກົນຢີ່ປຸ່ນ- on ວັນຈັນ ທີ 7 ມັງກອນ 2019

The millennial milestone was passed when eleven new Japanese volunteers to Laos together with representatives of their host organizations were welcomed to the Embassy of Japan to Laos in Vientiane on February 4, 2019.

Warm welcomes were provided by Ms. Sisomboun Ounavong, Director General of International Cooperation and Minister to the Embassy of Japan to Laos, Mr. Kuno Kazuhiro.

Posted by Embassy of Japan in Laos ສະຖານທູດຍີ່ປຸ່ນປະຈໍາ ສປປລາວ on ວັນຈັນ ທີ 4 ກຸມພາ 2019

There, volunteers heard of the high regard held for the contributions of JOCV, something recognized by PM Thongloun Sisoulith at a recent event hosting a courtesy call at Government House for World Volunteers Day as reported by Laotian Times.

Members of Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers (JOCVs) and Japan’s Senior Volunteers (SV) were hosted by the PM for an annual courtesy call and informal exchange on Monday, December 10 where Mr. Thongloun expressed heartwarming appreciation for volunteers’ daily efforts.

Prime Minister Thongloun welcomes visit from Volunteers from Japan via JICA

PM Thongloun meets Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers (JOCV)

PM Thongloun meets Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers (JOCV)

PM Thongloun meets Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers (JOCV)

The volunteers reported on their activities and challenges that they directly are facing on the ground while in response, the Prime Minister made comments on the initiatives being made by the Government of Laos.

Thousand volunteers to Laos among 50,000 to 90 countries

●Ms. Mayumi NISHIMURA (Nurse, Mahosot Hospital, right)This picture was taken when a Japanese newspaper visited us. She…

Posted by JICA Laos -ອົງການຮ່ວມມືສາກົນຢີ່ປຸ່ນ- on ວັນຈັນ ທີ 7 ມັງກອນ 2019

More than 50,000 JICA volunteers have been dispatched to more than 90 countries around the world since the first made their trip so many years ago. The numbers include both junior volunteers (aged under 40 years) and senior volunteers (40 – 69 years).

Volunteer programs “support activities by citizens (of Japan) who wish to cooperate in the economic and social development as well as the reconstruction of developing countries,” JICA’s website states.

“Through these cooperation activities, participating volunteers can not only contribute to the development of partner countries but also gain valuable experience in terms of international goodwill, mutual understanding and an expansion in their international perspectives.

“Widely recognized as a representative Japanese international cooperation program, volunteer activities have not only earned high acclaim from partner countries but are also receiving increased praise in Japan, where expectations for these programs are also rising.”

Posted by JICA Laos -ອົງການຮ່ວມມືສາກົນຢີ່ປຸ່ນ- on ວັນສຸກ ທີ 8 ກຸມພາ 2019

A bridge between diverse people, communities, countries

Find out more about the activities of Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers by attending events such as Let’s Travel Local LAOS from March 2-3 at Hidden Cafe at Vientiane.

Lat’s Travel Local Laos Event with JOCV at Hidden Cafe, Vientiane.

JOCV also likely to be spotted at Cool & Kawaii Japan 2019!

Come along and say Konnichiwa!

Posted by Cheer Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers -Jocv- 青年海外協力隊 on ວັນພະຫັດ ທີ 5 ກໍລະກົດ 2018


Celebrating 1000 Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers To Laos via JICA.

Celebrating 1000 Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers To Laos via JICA.

Award-winning OB-GYN: Japanese health advisor achieves global recognition for efforts in Laos

Dr Hiromi Obara presented with FIGO Award at World Congress in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Laos-based medic Doctor Hiromi Obara from Japan is one of twenty women practitioners in the field worldwide awarded in 2018 by the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics’ (FIGO) at its World Congress in Brazil. The recognition comes amid contributions to improving the health of women in low and middle-income countries and other resource-limited settings.

As the winter snows fall on Japan’s rural and windswept northern coastal Aomori prefecture, the cool, dry season of Laos in tropical South-East Asia may seem somewhat distant indeed.

For award-winning medic, Dr Hiromi Obara, the connection between the two places and their people is clear when it comes to maternal and child health.

Growing up in this part of rural Japan helped put this women’s reproductive health specialist on a long path to the international impact that has now seen formal recognition. Her inspiration to pursue a career in this critical field of medicine was born of experiences of people in her homeland, whose geographically remote and less populated parts have long-faced the challenges of deficits of access to medical care due to distance and related issues.

Her career since has seen her obtaining her MSc in Epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine to contributing in joint efforts with counterparts to improve access to quality care for rural and remote communities in the Southeast Asian nation of Laos and beyond.

Dedication and capacity developed over the intervening years has led to present focus on the health of women and children in Laos. In this south-east Asian nation, she actively supports policymakers and practitioners to assist more women and children in rural and remote parts to achieve better health outcomes thanks to increased access.

Serving as a Health Policy Advisor to Laos’ Ministry of Health on behalf of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Dr Obara is working closely with fellow officials and programme managers in the country to improve access to the services provided by professional health personnel nationwide.

Now, these efforts have been formally recognised by her fellows in the field. FIGO, a peak body representing national societies in some 130 countries worldwide, awards women obstetricians and gynecologists, predominantly from low- and middle-income countries, who have contributed significantly to the improvement of health care for women in their daily practice or via research.
FIGO Award winning Dr Hiromi Obara

Among the twenty FIGO awardees announced at the triennial global congress held in October in Brazil, Dr Obara was one of a handful to hail from a developed country.

Asked what she is most proud of, it’s the impact of the results of the work of her counterparts and the achievements they have been able to make with women, their children, families and communities.

“Compared to other countries, the situation in Lao PDR was notorious concerning inequity in access to Maternal and Child Health Care, as recently as 2011/12.”

“However, thanks to the government’s commitment, investment in reproductive, maternal, newborn, child health has increased by various means such as the development of midwives, free MCH access schemes, resulting in improved pro-poor access to maternal and child health at scale.”

Among these achievements is the increased percentage of births attended by professional health personnel. As average, the proportion of deliveries attended by professional health personnel increased from 42% in 2011/12 to 64% in 2017.
More mothers and children benefit from access to professional health personnel. – Image JICA

Credit for such improvements she ascribes primarily to efforts of counterparts in the ministry at every level, from leadership to those delivering lifesaving and protecting services across the country.

“My counterparts (MoH officials) have strong ownership and leadership which,  together with the inputs from JICA and other Development Partners, has contributed to the recent health outcomes, in particular, pro-poor and equitable access to maternal and child health services.

“Without enough dialogue, it is not possible for me to offer technical support. As such, I appreciate their kind collaboration. I have learned a lot from MoH officials here in the Lao PDR.”

On secondment from the National Center for Global Health and Medicine (NCGM) Japan, Dr Obara has over 18 years’ experience providing technical, programmatic and management support in reproductive, maternal and newborn health (RMNH).

Her career has since seen her contributing across several locations in the Western Pacific Region and beyond, focusing on resource-limited settings in particular.

At home in Japan, she has served as Deputy Director of the International Affairs Division of the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare and as a doctor at Jichi Medical University Hospital.

Apart from Laos, she has also worked as a reproductive Health Medical Officer in World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Office for the Western Pacific and as Chief Advisor to JICA’s MCH project in Cambodia.

Dr Obara counts among her areas of expertise country policies, strategies, plans, clinical guidelines, and efforts to improve financial access to and equitable access to and quality of care. Her efforts include contributing to regional and global meetings as an RMNH expert and to WHO publications as a member of several Guideline Development Groups and the Independent Review Group.

Such contributions have seen her well placed to offer advice to health authorities in how to best conduct maternal death reviews, improve newborn care, eliminate unsafe abortions, develop policy strategy frameworks and conduct monitoring both at country and regional levels.

Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteer (JOCV) supports Lao medical professionals to deliver MCH services. (Credit Steven A Cleary/JICA)

Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteer (JOCV) supports Lao medical professionals to deliver MCH services. (Credit Steven A Cleary/JICA)

Looking forward, Dr Obara is optimistic about the trends and prospects for better access and outcomes for women and their children in Laos as the developing nation closes in on its 2020 goals.

To achieve these goals and continually improve the health outcomes for women and infants in 2020 and beyond necessitates appropriate funding allocation to the sector in terms of facilities, equipment and medicine as well as providing targeted incentives for ongoing improvement of human resource capacity to deliver result-based, family-centered services and clinical care countrywide, Dr Obara said.

Dr Hiromi Obara presented with FIGO Award at World Congress in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Dr Hiromi Obara presented with FIGO Award at World Congress in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Champion! Lao Paralympian Powerlifter Pia Takes Gold at Asian Para Games 2018

Powerlifter Pia Laophakdee

Laos’ Powersports powerlifter Pia captured a gold medal Sunday at the Asian Para Games 2018 in Indonesia in the 49kg Men’s Division after successfully lifting 133 kilograms.

copyright paralympic.org

Laos’ gold medal-winning powerlifter Pia (copyright paralympic.org)

Pia is now qualified to compete for glory at Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. Pia received plenty of cheers from his team of competitors, coaches and administrators, with his victory covered by paralympic.org.

“Since I have my disability for a long time, I would like to promote how to overcome a disability, to be strong and healthy,” the powerlifter was quoted as saying.

“I plan to go to Dubai for my next event, this is the world championship. After that I will go ahead to the Paralympics in Tokyo 2020.”

The win comes after expert training for the powerlifter and his teammates in Beppu, Japan under the guidance of experienced competitor & coach, Japan’s Takashi Jo, followed by competition at the Kitakyushu 2018 World Para Powerlifting Asia-Oceania Open Championships.

The Lao Paralympic Athletes left Vientiane’s Wattay Airport bound for Indonesia last week.

Lao Paralympic Athletes

Lao Paralympic Athletes at Vientiane’s Wattay International Airport

Parasports development in Laos receives assistance from Tokyo-based, Laos’ active NGO Asian Development with the Disabled Persons (ADDP) with project funding support from the people and government of Japan via Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) via the Parasports Promotion Project.

The project involves providing training and expertise from Japan and beyond to benefit parasports athletes and coaches in Laos to compete in multiple sports, smoothing some of the bumps on the path to aid greater participation for all on the road to the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics and beyond.Wheelchair basketball and goalball, an adapted sport for the vision impaired, also feature in the project.

The latter sport was the subject of a short film inspired by the life and sporting efforts of Lao goalball athlete Ms La Dalavong, whose young life was forever changed by an accident by war-era unexploded ordnance (UXO) before discovering a path forward through sport. A Lao New Wave Cinema production, the film visited the inspiring athlete in her home village and on the sporting court in Vientiane.

Other ADDP initiatives include the sign-language friendly and inclusive Minna-no-Cafe where customers and staff alike can communicate with the hard of hearing. The NGO also works with its employees to produce a range of popular cookies which are for sale at various outlets including the cafe and was also a participant in efforts that saw the creation of a Lao-Japan Friendship Sakura Park in Viengxay district, Huaphan province planted with Japanese cherry blossom trees.

ADDP’s efforts are also ably supported by Lao Fashion Week as seen in reporting by Laotian Times last month as the country and its capital celebrated the achievements of past and present participants and strengthening pathways, the dreams of the aspiring Paralympic competitors and fashion industry participants are nurtured alike.

Congratulations Pia! Good luck one and all at Asian Para Games 2018 and on the Road to Tokyo 2020!!

New JICA Volunteers Group Arrives in Laos

New Japanese volunteers dispatched by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) recently arrived in Laos to support socio-economic and human resource development across the country.