LAOS - Luxembourg continues its support to COVID-19 response and provides decontamination vehicles to the Government
International cooperation is pivotal in managing the current COVID-19 crisis and its impacts in developing countries. The Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg remains a reliable development cooperation partner throughout these unprecedented times and has earmarked 3,000,000 EUR to support the Government of Lao PDR in its preparedness and response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Mr. Sam Schreiner, Chargé d’Affaires a.i.at the Embassy of Luxembourg in Vientiane Laos, handed over three ‘Decontamination Unit’ vehicles to Assoc. Prof. Dr. Bounkong Syhavong, Minister of Health, during an official handover ceremony at the Ministry of Health in Vientiane capital. © LuxDev
As part of this support, Mr. Sam Schreiner, Chargé d’Affaires a.i. of the Embassy of Luxembourg in Laos, handed over three ‘Decontamination Unit’ vehicles (4x4 pickups) as well as decontamination equipment worth 88,000 EUR, to Associate Prof. Dr. Bounkong Syhavong, Minister of Health, during an official handover ceremony.
The handover ceremony was held on January 27, 2021 at the Ministry of Health in Vientiane Capital and was attended by Associate Prof. Dr. Bounkong Syhavong, Minister of Health, Dr. Bounfeng Phoummalaysith, Vice-Minister of Health, the three Directors of the Provincial Health Departments of Vientiane, Bolikhamxay and Khammouane, as well as representatives of LuxDev, the Luxembourg Development Cooperation Agency.
These decontamination vehicles have been purchased and equipped by the Lao-Luxembourg Health Sector Support Programme Phase II (LAO/027). The main purpose is to strengthen the provincial authority’s ability to respond to potential coronavirus infections. The vehicles are manned by well-trained and fully equipped teams that are able to provide rapid and mobile response and quickly decontaminate/disinfect multiple sites exposed to potential COVID-19 such as hospitals, isolation facilities and official buildings.
Demonstration of the ‘Decontamination Unit’ vehicles and decontamination equipment to the Ministry of Health. © LuxDev
Each decontamination vehicle provided to the three Luxembourg supported provinces of Vientiane, Bolikhamxay and Khammouane contain essential equipment, including rechargeable battery nebulizers, disinfectants, cleaning materials and other supplies such as personal protective equipment (PPE), goggles, boots and gloves.
‘Decontamination Unit’ vehicles in front of the Ministry of Health, January 27, 2020. © LuxDev
In addition to the vehicles, the LAO/027 programme is also offering sanitization training. So far sixteen (16) health personnel designated to be part of the decontamination mobile team (from the three Luxembourg supported provinces) have participated in their first training on safe sanitization treatment in January 2021. The second part of the training will take place in February and will end with a technical examination to ensure quality compliance.
It should be highlighted that the LAO/027 programme support office, based in Vientiane Capital, has been very active since the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020. Besides its main objective of supporting the Ministry of Health in implementing the Health Sector Reform Framework 2013-2025, the programme has also been supporting the health facilities in the provinces of Vientiane, Bolikhamxay and Khammouane in their response and preparedness to COVID-19.
In addition to the ‘Decontamination Unit’ vehicles, the LAO/027 programme has supported the establishment of isolation facilities in the three provinces of Vientiane, Bolikhamxay and Khammouane. Moreover, the LAO/027 programme has purchased and dispatched essential medical equipment and supplies such as personal protective equipment for health personnel, medical devices for the detection and monitoring of infected-people, decontamination products to reduce the risks of transmission, viral transport media for the transportation of specimen to be tested at the central laboratory of the country for a total amount of 630,000 EUR.
The Lao-Luxembourg Health Sector Support Programme Phase II (LAO/027) is funded by the Governments of Lao PDR and the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg, and jointly implemented by the Ministry of Health and LuxDev, the Luxembourg Development Cooperation Agency.
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