VIENTIANE, LAO PDR, U.S. Embassy in Laos -- USAID Country Representative to Lao PDR Mr. Michael Ronning presented 70,000 mosquito nets, 450,000 malaria diagnostic kits, along with 200,000 tablets of antimalarial drugs, valued at more than $530,000 USD, to Minister of Health Dr. Bounfeng Phommalaysith at a ceremony in Vientiane on September 10.
The malaria commodities, funded by the United States through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the United States of America’s President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI), will be distributed to public health facilities and community health workers in areas of Lao PDR where malaria cases remain high. This donation will assist the Government of Lao PDR to maintain stocks of these important tools in the fight against malaria even during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Health assistance is a central part of the U.S.-Lao Comprehensive Partnership, which celebrates its fifth anniversary this year. The United States is proud to continue working with the Lao PDR government and our public health partners through this contribution of lifesaving supplies to prevent and treat malaria, and to support Lao PDR in its mission to eliminate malaria by 2030,” Mr. Ronning said.
The handover is the most recent example of U.S. support to Lao PDR in combating malaria. Together with this donation, USAID has provided technical assistance, supplied equipment, and distributed more than 800,000 mosquito nets, nearly 1,000,000 diagnostic test kits, and antimalarial drugs and treatments, valued at more than $4.73 million USD over the past 10 years. The United States will continue its support through a recently-launched new project to support the National Malaria Program. Separately, the United States has provided assistance to the Lao Government valued at nearly $10 million USD in the fight against COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic. In July 2021, the United States donated more than one million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine to the Lao PDR as part of President Biden’s effort to end the pandemic around the world.
The United States’ development assistance to Lao PDR spans more than a decade. USAID has supported Lao PDR to fight various infectious diseases, improve maternal and child health and nutrition, and enabled persons with disabilities to live to their full potential.