Celebrating 50 years in the Lao People's Democratic Republic

News release

The World Health Organization published a book this month celebrating its 50 years in the Lao People's Democratic Republic.

The commemorative book–entitled Fifty years: working for health in the Lao People's Democratic Republic, 1962–2012 details WHO's experiences in the country, from the opening in 1962 of the Country Liaison Office, to the upgrade in 1968 to a WHO Representative Office, to the current challenges that centre on supporting the Government's efforts to develop better primary health care and to implement current health reforms.

At a recent joint reception here by WHO and the Ministry of Health, more than 200 representatives of the diplomatic corps, other United Nations agencies, the government and nongovernmental organizations were given copies of the book. They were also invited to view more than 20 posters and a presentation highlighting WHO's work in the country.

Speaking at the reception, WHO Regional Director for the Western Pacific Dr Shin Young-soo pledged WHO's continued commitment to help achieve better health outcomes for the people of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic.

Health Minister Dr Eksavang Vongvichit thanked WHO for its support and for bringing together partners to implement the many health programmes in the country.

WHO has witnessed impressive improvements in the health of the people of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic. For example, in 1995, the average life expectancy at birth was 55 years. By 2010, life expectancy had increased to 64 for men and 67 for women.

The joint event was intended to foster more multisectoral collaboration in disease prevention and health promotion in communities and across borders, as the Lao People’s Democratic Republic shares borders with five other Mekong countries.

WHO will continue to collaborate with ministries to introduce and implement policies that focus on improving the health of the people and achieving the health-related Millennium Development Goals in the short term and universal health coverage by 2025.

For more information, please contact:

Dr Kidong Park
Team Leader, Country Support Unit
Tel.: +632 528 9042
E-mail: parkk@wpro.who.int

Ms Irene Tan
Communications Officer, WHO Representative Office in the Lao People's Democratic Republic
Tel.: +856 21 353902
E-mail: tani@wpro.who.int