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Savannakhet, Lao PDR, 13th March – The Ministry of Health (MoH) and The Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) in collaboration with, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) launched the provincial report of the Lao Social Indicator Survey (LSIS) on 13th March in Savannakhet province with the aim to disseminate its provincially disaggregated findings amongst local decision makers.

Some of the key findings of the LSIS in Savannakhet province include a high Adolescent Birth Rate at 99 births for each 1000 girls age 15-19 which is 5 points higher than the national average as well as a Neonatal Mortality Rate of at least 28 babies, per every 1000 live births, who die before reaching 28 days of age.

The Minister of Health, Prof. Dr. Eksavang Vongvichit, noted “The LSIS offers disaggregated data which for the first time gives the Government the ability to look at Provincial level, enabling better sub-national planning, monitoring and advocacy”.

Speaking on behalf of the United Nations, Dr. Esther Muia added: “Data is about people; data is about children, mothers, fathers and families. It allows us all to see what is happening around us and make vital decisions about the future. The LSIS in particular draws our attention to the need for immediate action to prioritize investment in support of effective and efficient service delivery to the most vulnerable”

The meeting saw the attendance of officials from the Lao Statistics Bureau (LSB) from MPI, and government officers at the provincial level from Savannakhet, Khammouane, Champassak and Attapeu, as well as other participants from international NGOs and national Non-Profit Associations. During the meeting, each province reported on the progress, achievements and challenges while using the LSIS data.

The LSIS is a household based survey that applied the technical framework of the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) and Demographic and Health Survey (DHS). LSIS provides up to date information on the social situation of children, women and men covering health, nutrition education, water and sanitation, marriage and sexual activity, fertility and mortality, contraception, and use of mass media and information technology.

Provincial reports of the survey will be launched in the following days in Attappeu, Luang Namtha and Luang Prabang.