LAOS - Luxembourg provides an additional 1 million EUR to support COVID-19 response in Lao PDR
The Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg continues to work alongside its partner country, Laos, to strengthen the national capacities to detect, assess and respond to acute public health events. In response to the recent upsurge in COVID-19 cases, Luxembourg, through the Lao-Luxembourg Health Sector Support Programme Phase II (LAO/027), has committed an additional 1,000,000 EUR (equivalent to 11.5 billion LAK) to detect, mitigate and prevent the spread of the coronavirus in the country.
An official handover ceremony was held on 10th June 2021, at the Ministry of Health in Vientiane in the presence of Dr. Bounfeng Phoummalaysith, Minister of Health, senior members from the Ministry of Health, the National Centre of Laboratory and Epidemiology, the Institut Pasteur du Laos, representatives from the Embassy of Luxembourg in Laos, and representatives from the LAO/027 health programme.
Mr. Sam Schreiner, Chargé d’Affaires of the Embassy of Luxembourg in Laos and Dr. Bounfeng Phoummalaysith, Minister of Health, during an official handover ceremony at the Ministry of Health in Vientiane capital. (June, 2021)
Mr. Sam Schreiner, Chargé d’Affaires of the Embassy of Luxembourg, congratulated the Government and the people of Laos for the, so far, successful handling of the ongoing crisis and stated that a strong COVID-19 response should include, besides a rapid vaccination drive, a comprehensive surveillance and testing strategy. In this regard, support to strengthen laboratory capacity is essential for the rapid detection of positive cases and the roll out of a timely response to contain the spread. Mr. Schreiner furthermore stressed the “absolute need for close donor coordination with the Government of Laos in the ongoing fight against COVID-19 in order to avoid any unfortunate duplication of efforts or gaps and to husband the all too rare resources”.
In coordination with the Ministry of Health, the Luxembourg Development Cooperation will provide this additional funding to the National Centre of Laboratory and Epidemiology (NCLE) and the Institut Pasteur du Laos (IPL), the two official laboratories for sample screening. The additional funds will, amongst others, be used to support the procurement of laboratory equipment, reagents, and swabs to meet the high demand for testing.
Furthermore, the LAO/027 health programme is continuing to support the Ministry of Health and the three Luxembourg supported provinces of Bolikhamxay, Khammouane and Vientiane, through the acquisition of medical devices, personal protective equipment (PPE) and consumables which are currently in high demand.
Through this latest funding assistance, Luxembourg’s support is expected to:
- strengthen case management, detection, monitoring and surveillance capacities;
- maintain and support temporary provincial isolation and treatment facilities;
- support infection prevention and control (IPC) mechanisms and surge capacities;
- enhance operational support and logistics; and
- provide technical support, IPC consumables and personal protective equipment (PPE) support.
This support is part of the Team Europe joint response and is in addition to the 3,000,000 EUR (34.5 billion LAK), which were transferred in 2020 by the Government of Luxembourg to support the Government of Lao PDR’s COVID-19 preparedness and response.
The Lao-Luxembourg Health Sector Support Programme Phase II (LAO/027) is co-financed by the Government of Lao PDR and the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg and is implemented by the Lao Ministry of Health and LuxDev, the Luxembourg Development Cooperation Agency.
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