Speech of Dr Juliet Fleischl for First National Consultative Meeting on Community Service Delivery

Dr Juliet Fleischl
WHO Representative to the Lao People’s Democratic Republic
27th -28th June 2017, Vientiane Capital, Lao PDR

Your Excellency, Associate Professor Dr Bounkong Syhavong, Minister of Health;
Ms Hongwei Gao, Head of UNICEF Country Office
Esteemed Ministry of Health staff and development partners;
Distinguished guests and colleagues;
Ladies and Gentlemen:
Good morning.

It is my pleasure to be with you this morning for the First National Consultative Meeting on Community Service Delivery. On behalf of the World Health Organization, I would like to thank the Ministry of Health for organizing this meeting.

Community service delivery is an important part of extending health services to vulnerable population groups, including mothers and children, thereby ensuring that no one is left behind. Building a sustainable community service delivery mechanism improves accessibility for hard to reach and vulnerable people, and contribute to the country’s steps towards Universal Health Coverage (UHC).

Under the current Health Sector Reform, MOH is working on the essential service package for each facility level as well as for community. The outcome of this work guides what should be delivered through the community service delivery mechanism as well as how we can ensure the essential services that people need in the community.

Lessons from other countries show that a strong linkage between the community and other parts of the health system is crucial. So the government is taking this initiative to design the community service delivery mechanism as a part of the health system as a whole. This includes strengthening the referral system from the community; regular supervision of the village health volunteers; coherent and coordinated service provision of agreed essential services.

In this meeting we can all learn from each other as we hear examples from other countries in the region. At the same time, Lao PDR has its specific situation we need to consider, including human resources, geographic and cultural context. I hope this meeting will generate meaningful discussions on finding what would be the optimal path for Lao PDR.

In closing, WHO and partners are here to support you. I wish you a successful meeting.

Thank you.