Press Release

Lao PDR: Personal Protection Equipment for protecting front line workers against COVID-19

30 April 2020

30 April 2020 Vientiane- “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. To protect health workers and ensure they continue to serve communities especially for maternal health, during COVID-19. Measures of hygiene and social distancing for the general population, specific and oriented interventions are being practiced to ensure the protection of those in the frontline: Midwives and health workers.

Why? Because health workers and midwives are particularly vulnerable to the virus due to the nature of their community-based work.  By protecting them, we also protect all patients to whom they deliver health services and care, particularly pregnant women and babies who might be exposed during the provision of care and service.  Providing all midwives with personal protective equipment is especially important as they serve women who are pregnant, lactating, or wish to space pregnancies

Mr. Khamphone Phouthavong, Vice Minister said:  “Prevention and protection for front line workers such as midwives, health providers counsellors and those serving in shelters for survivors of gender-based violence is very important to maintain essential services during Covid pandemic.  The UNFPA support is important within the broader Government-led efforts to ensure that health services and workforces are well sustained and accountable to the populations they serve”. 

The collaboration with the Ministry of Health covers interventions focusing on the provision of maternal services and psychosocial support for the most marginalized groups, nationwide with the aim of ensuring universal access to life-saving Sexual and Reproductive Health information and services for pregnant women, women at reproductive age and young people as a priority during the outbreak.

Ms. Mariam A Khan said: “In this context, UNFPA has imported for MOH, WHO and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) prevention equipment valued at over of 88,000 US dollars to support: i) Midwives and health providers at the MCH, ii) Lao Women Union, iii) Vientiane Youth center and iv) Lao Youth Union, all of whom have front line workers who provide safe motherhood services and /or will also ensure psychosocial support and will particularly emphasize on addressing needs of women and girls facing intersecting inequalities, discrimination, violence, exploitation, and abuse in times of crises”.

The Department of Hygiene and Health Promotion will receive from UNFPA 190 Personal Protective equipment for health workers to reduce risk of infection, 7000 units Gloves, examination, long cuff, nitrile, 700 boxes of 50 units each of Surgical Masks type IIR and 2040 Surgical Respirator FFP2/N95 masks. MOH will dispatch the protective equipment to partners.

 

For more information please contact:

Mr. Visit Khamlusa, Director, Center of Communication, Education on Health, Department of Hygiene and Health Promotion, Ministry of Health

vkhamlusa@yahoo.com

Zahra BENYAHIA, Communication Consultant, UNFPA Laos

fbenyahia@unfpa.org