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LWU, Lao Red Cross and UNFPA celebrate by Blood Donation event to Help Society

Vientiane Capital, 15 July 2021 - To celebrate 66 years since the establishment of Lao Women’s Union (LWU) (1955-2021), a 2-day blood donation event was organised by LWU and Lao Red Cross, supported by UNFPA, held at the Lao-ITECC Exhibition Center. To mark the event, “66 years of victory, we collectively donate blood to help society and combat COVID-19”, organised with COVID-19 prevention measures, through the event 266 units of blood were donated to  ensure the national blood bank is well supplied and can save lives. The event was chaired by Associate Professor Dr. Phouthone Muangpak, President of Lao Red Cross and Mme. Sirikit Boupha, Vice President of Lao Women’s Union (LWU), and co-chaired by Ms. Mariam A. Khan, Country Representative of United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

 

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Mme. Sirikit Boupha said “Blood donation is organized to celebrate the establishment of LWU and support humanitarian work in saving people’s lives, especially women. Blood donation can contribute to the reduction of maternal and child mortality rates in Lao PDR. Maternal death is high among pregnant women who have complications and a lot of bleeding, so the availability of blood is crucial to save their lives.

 

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Phouthone Muangpak said “to ensure that people donate blood and that the process is safe for both donor and recipient, Lao Women’s Union, the Red Cross, blood centers, and the National Ministry of Health have been collaborating to develop the proper structure for increasing volunteer blood donors and managing the health of blood donors in order to maintain the service's quality.”

 

Ms. Mariam A. Khan said that UNFPA and LWU had strengthened their relationship over a long period “LWU is one of our most valuable implementing partners. We have a strong partnership to protect the lives of women and girls and support survivors of violence, especially those who are most vulnerable. In just the last year, results include establishing protection shelters and 24/7 helplines to provide life-saving assistance to survivors of violence and those at risk.”

 

Ms. Khan emphasized the importance of blood donations to save the lives of women and girls: “This joint event is a fantastic example of ensuring continuity of routine health services during the pandemic. Well stocked blood banks can help address extreme anemia, and reduce maternal deaths. During complications around childbirth, the life or death of a woman/girl can be determined by availability of sufficient blood ” said Ms. Khan.

LWU and UNFPA partner for women’s rights and gender equality to advance CEDAW and ICPD in Lao PDR. Multiple donors including KOICA, DFAT, SDC, and UK contribute to the partnership, some though UN joint programmes, supporting a range of interventions to protect, promote and advance women and girls rights in the country.

 

For more information please contact:

 

Ms. Sisouvanh Vorabouth

Program Gender Lead, UNFPA Laos

vorabouth@unfpa.org