VIENTIANE, LAO PDR — Continuing the United States’ support to the Lao PDR in the fight against Covid-19, Acting USAID Laos Country Office Director Patrick Bowers delivered additional supplies to Vice Minister of Health Dr. Phouthone Muangpak at a handover ceremony in Vientiane Capital on August 7. This new shipment of medical and laboratory supplies, valued at more than USD 170,000, is provided by the United States through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).
“I am proud to represent the United States as we stand together with the Lao PDR in the fight against COVID-19,” said Mr. Bowers. “Today’s delivery of supplies is just the latest part of our continuing U.S. support to Laos as the country works to prevent and control future outbreaks of the novel coronavirus.”
The supplies include two digital mobile x-ray units, two mobile ultrasound systems, one ultrasonic cardiac output monitor and a polymerase chain reaction machine. This equipment will be used by frontline health workers to quickly detect COVID-19 cases and conduct rapid contact tracing to help prevent the virus’ further spread.
The United States has provided more than $7.5 million to help Laos respond to the COVID-19 outbreak. In February, the United States, through USAID, provided personal protective equipment to help frontline health workers safely care for patients in Laos. In March, USAID followed up with more than $1.9 million of new COVID-19 funding support. In May, the United States provided additional funding of approximately $3.17 million from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (USCDC). Additionally, ten laptops, specialized laboratory filters and autoclaves, and testing supplies were donated by the U.S. government and private organizations to the Ministry of Health to help scientists and health officials conduct testing and contact tracing. Most recently, in June, USAID provided additional $2.5 million to further support COVID-19 response in Laos.
Throughout the Lao PDR, the United States works in close partnership with the government and citizens on a range of programs to improve health outcomes in the country. These include long-term efforts to improve nutrition, strengthen maternal and child health, and prevent the spread of infectious diseases.