LAO PEOPLE’S DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC

NATIONAL ROUND TABLE PROCESS

Health

CBD Savanaket MPTaylor

The Government has helped boost family planning across the country, including in remote areas through training community based distributors of reproductive health care kit.

The Ministry of Health Chairs the Health Sector Working Group. The Embassy of Japan and the World Health Organisation are Co-Chairs.

Lao PDR is one of only 19 countries to have already achieved MDG 5 on maternal mortality, at 220 per 100 000 live births. According to a study commissioned by the World Health Organisation, It is the 3rd fastest country in reducing maternal mortality.

More than 1,500 midwives have been educated and deployed to rural health facilities under the current five-year plan. Average staff numbers at frontline health centres have also risen from 2 to 4. Other key Millennium Development Goal targets are largely on track, including cutting HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, Malaria and boosting access to safe water and sanitation.

Vision and priorities

Contribute to Lao PDR’s graduation from least developed country status by 2020.

This requires a further drop in the under 5 child mortality rate from 71 per 100,000 live births in 2014 to 45 and a reduction in malnutrition status, especially child chronic malnutrition (stunting). This will be achieved through action plans under the new National Nutrition Strategy and the reproductive, maternal newborn and child health strategy.

  • Reducing maternal mortality remains a priority given the high rate compared to neighbouring countries.
  • Universal Health Coverage with an adequate package of services and appropriate financial protection should be assured for a vast majority of the population by 2025.

Lessons and challenges

  • More efficient use of a bigger health budget should include boosting managerial capacity, including planning and monitoring, particularly at sub-national levels. Results based management and monitoring and evaluation based on core national indicators should be improved.
  • The availability and readiness at all health facilities must be monitored and improved, alongside a boost to the quality of health services.
  • Care inequality between rich and poor, and urban and rural areas will be improved.
  • Public – Private partnerships can be sought to address the challenges. 

Support needed

  • Support is needed to accelerate the implementation of health sector reforms across the 5 pillars:
  • health human resources;
  • health financing;
  • governance and management and coordination; and,
  • service delivery and health information systems.
  • Support is needed to build up nutrition as a mainstreamed issue across all sector programmes.
  • Development partners are re-committing support based on the overarching framework of the:
  • health sector reforms;
  • the 8th 5 year Health Sector Development Plan; and
  • the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including the Sustainable Development Goals.
  • All development partners can further support operational planning for more effective results and collaboration.

We ask the central government:

  • to allocate at least 9% of the national budget to the health sector; and,
  • to allocate at least 1,136 quotas to the sector every year.

We ask local governments to assure the deployment of new staff allocated to health facilities.

Sub Sector Working Groups

The Health Sector Working Group includes six Technical Working Groups. They include:

  1. Planning and Finance
  2. Chair – Department of Planning and International Cooperation & Department of Finance (Ministry of Health)
  3. Human Resources
  4. Chair – Deputy Director General of Department of Training and Education for Health (Ministry of Health)
  5. Mother and Child Health and Nutrition
  6. Chair – Deputy Director General of Department of Hygiene and Health Promotion Prevention (Ministry of Health)
  7. Health Care
  8. Chair – Deputy Director General of Department of Health Care (Ministry of Health)
  9. Food and Drugs
  10. Chair – Director General of Department of Food and Drug (Ministry of Health)
  11. Hygiene Prevention and Health Promotion
  12. Chair – Director General of Department of Hygiene and Health Promotion