VIENTIANE, LAOS -- Continuing the United States’ longstanding support of the Lao health sector, U.S. Ambassador to Laos Dr. Peter M. Haymond presented 88,000 specially-treated mosquito nets funded by the United States to Vice Minister of Health Dr. Phouthone Muangpak at a ceremony in Vientiane on July 17. These mosquito nets, provided through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), will be distributed to Lao families in areas where the number of malaria cases remains particularly high.
“The United States is proud to continue working with the Lao PDR and our public health partners to contribute lifesaving supplies to prevent malaria transmission, and to support Laos in its mission to eliminate malaria by 2030,” Ambassador Haymond said.
Laos achieved a steady decline in malaria cases over the past decade. The number of malaria cases in the country has dropped almost 90 percent in recent years, down from a peak of 50,000 cases during an outbreak in 2014 to 6,593 cases in 2019.
This mosquito net contribution represents the latest U.S. support for the Center of Malariology, Parasitology, and Entomology and the Ministry of Health. Assistance from the United States, provided as part of the President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI), strengthen Laos’ health system, particularly its capacity to combat malaria and mosquito-borne diseases. This is part of a broader effort by the United States to support development of a comprehensive medical supply chain for countries in the Indo-Pacific region, including Laos.
The handover is just the most recent example of U.S. support to the Government of Laos in combating infectious diseases, including COVID-19, malaria, HIV/AIDS, and others. The United States works closely with the Lao Ministry of Health to identify and fill commodity gaps within regional public health supply chains to deal with malaria. The PMI program has already provided and distributed 700,000 mosquito nets, 470,000 diagnostic tests, and 112,000 anti-malarial treatments to the Lao people.