Ministry of Health works hard to improve lives04:38

Published on April 7, 2015

Over the past 60 years, under the Party’s leadership, the ministry works hard to improve the health of Lao people, especially women and children.

Introduction: The Ministry of Health will continue to reduce maternal and infant mortality as part of efforts to remove Laos from Least Developed Country status by 2020. In our today’ special report we have over the past 60 years, under the Party’s leadership, the ministry has worked hard to improve the health of Lao people, especially women and children.

Story: Reducing the death rate of mothers and children is one of the Ministry of Health’s eight priorities in propelling Laos towards this target.
The ministry’s eight priorities are: the promotion and expansion of model villages of health throughout the country; reduction of maternal, neonatal and child mortality rates through education; promotion of nutrition activities, combined with disaster and epidemic preparedness; development of human resource capacity to a high level in all fields and aspects; strengthening of medical organisations, mechanisms, regulations and methodologies; advancement of a sustainable healthcare financing package; promotion of food and drug safety and quality administration including traditional medicines; and utilisation of development partners’ support through the creative implementation of the Vientiane Declaration.

Over the past 60 years, under the Party’s leadership, the ministry has worked hard to improve the health of Lao people, especially women and children.

According to Minister of Health, Professor Dr Eksavang Vongvichit, expansion of the health network with good quality medical services was the ministry’s main aim in improving the health of the population, with a focus on reaching every district and village.

Today, the health network extends throughout 90 percent of the country. Almost 6,000 medical kits and more than 900 dispensaries have been provided, while privately owned pharmacies also serve more than 90 percent of remote villages. There are 130 district hospitals and 16 provincial hospitals.

All the abovementioned issues have become the responsibility of the health sector, which urged all sectors to band together to find solutions. There is an old Party line which states: “Health is the endeavour of the whole Party, the whole state and all people.”

Despite these challenges, the health sector is decentralising healthcare by following the policy and guidance of the Party and government. This has been achieved through the commitment of related sectors and local authorities, the dedication of health workers, and the continued support of external organisations.

By 2020 the ministry aims to improve staffing at district health centres both in terms of quality and quantity, and to provide enough nurses, midwives or birth attendants for pregnant women in rural areas.

Social health protection schemes should cover 50 percent of the population by 2015 and 80 percent by 2020, while free healthcare for children under five and free birthing services should be realised across the country.

To help reach the MDG targets, official said that health reform should be focused on five priority areas: human resource development; health financing; organisation, management and working style; health services and information; and monitoring and evaluation.

Source: Lao National Television News in English
Broadcast on March 23, 2015