The Phase II launch of the United Nations Joint Programme on Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn and Child Health in Lao PDR (2017-2020)
Vientiane Capital, 9 January 2017 - The Government of Lao People’s Democratic Republic received renewed funding support of 6.5 million Euros from the Government of Luxembourg for the United Nations Joint Programme (UNJP) on Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (RMNCH) for 2017 to 2020.
Lao Health Minister, Associate Professor Dr Bounkong Syhavong met the representatives from the Government of Luxembourg, Ms. Martine Schommer, Director General of Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Action and Mr. Robert Lauer, Ambassador to Lao PDR, Embassy in Bangkok from the Ministry of European and Foreign Affairs for the launch.
The launch was also attended by the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) Representative, Ms Hongwei Gao, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Representative, Ms Frederika Meijer and World Health Organization (WHO) Representative, Dr Juliet Fleischl.
Speaking at the event, Dr Bounkong said “On behalf of the Government of Laos and the Ministry of Health, I would like to thank the Government of Luxembourg for the support to maternal and child health and poverty eradication in the country. We are pleased to have the UN agencies, WHO, UNICEF and UNFPA as our partners working on health.”
Maternal and Child Health remain a national priority for the country and this renewed support is in line with the the Ministry of Health’s 8th Health Sector Development Plan, the 8th National Socio-Economic Development Plan (NSEDP) and the new Reproductive, Maternal, New-born and Child Health (RMNCH) Strategy and Action Plan 2016-2025. Ms. Martine Schommer also spoke at the event and said “The UNJP RMNCH is in line with the Government of Luxembourg’s Indicative Cooperation Programme IV 2016-2020 (ICP IV) whose objective is to contribute to poverty reduction in Lao PDR through its strengthened programmatic approach. Investing in Maternal and Child health is not only the right thing to do but also a strategic priority for many of the SDGs indicators.”
During Phase 1, WHO focused on reducing maternal and child mortality through improving Emergency Obstetric Care (EmOC) and Early Essential Newborn Care (EENC) under MDG 4 and 5; deworming and iron folate supplementation for women of child bearing age under MDG 1 to improve nutrition while supporting the Ministry of Health (MOH) in the development of the Reproductive, Maternal, New-born and Child Health (RMNCH) Strategy and Action Plan 2016-2025.
Dr Juliet Fleischl, WHO Representative was at the launch and said “WHO will support the implementation of the RMNCH and focus on strengthening of the health systems and capacity building for EmOC and EENC, fostering the integration of services for continuum of care along the life cycle which will contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals and the Universal Health Coverage.”
Together with our UN partners, we will focus on the remote, poorest and most disadvantaged communities in the provinces of Bolikhamxay, Savannakhet and Bokeo, in order to improve access and increase the utilization of essential health services by women, adolescents and children to reduce morbidity and mortality among these vulnerable groups.