VIENTIANE, U.S. Embassy in Laos -- U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Country Representative to Lao PDR Michael Ronning presented 220,314 mosquito nets, valued at $416,393 USD, to Deputy Minister of Health Dr. Phayvanh Keopaseuth at a ceremony in Vientiane on February 25, 2022. This is part of the United States’ ongoing support to Lao PDR in the malaria elimination goal.
The long-lasting insecticide treated nets, funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), through the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI), will be distributed to vulnerable families and communities in greatest need. Specifically, Savannakhet Province, where malaria cases remain especially high, will receive a large portion of the bednets. This donation from the United States will contribute to the Government of Laos’ national mass bednet campaign supporting the Ministry of Health’s National Malaria Control Program in the fight against malaria during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Our health assistance is a central part of the U.S.-Lao Comprehensive Partnership. 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 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, over the past 10 years USAID has provided technical assistance, supplied equipment, and distributed more than 1,000,000 mosquito nets, nearly 1,000,000 malaria diagnostic test kits, and antimalarial drugs and treatments valued at more than $5.1 million USD. Separately, the United States has provided assistance of over $13 million USD to support the Lao Government in the fight against COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic. Most recently, the U.S. Government donated almost 1.7 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, which has assisted Lao PDR to vaccinate more than 50% of the population, including youth ages 12-17 enabling them to safely return to school.
The United States’ development assistance to Lao PDR spans more than a decade. In health, 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.