Extended healthcare project to improve child, maternal health

January 10, 2013

Lao doctor extending health education to women and mothers at health center.

Three international organisations have injected more than 13.1 billion kip (US$1.6 million) to extend a healthcare programme to help Champassak province improve child and maternal health.

A memorandum of understanding (MOU) to extend the Pilot Safe Motherhood and Childhood Programme was signed on January 8 at the Public Health Department of the southern province.

Department Director Dr Khampho Chaleunvong and General Coordinator of Médecins du Monde (MdM) Ms Isabelle Decout signed the MOU to continue the activities of the programme’s phase II in four districts for another three years (January 2013-December 2015).

The Agence Française de Développement (AFD), Médecins du Monde – France and Medecins du Monde – Japan funded the programme which aims to contribute to reducing mortality and morbidity in mothers and children aged under five in Mounlapamok and Soukhoumma districts, according to a press release from officials in charge.

Ms Decout confirmed that it will focus on improving healthcare for mothers, newborns and children under the age of five.

This will be achieved by improving the capability of healthcare staff by assisting Champassak College of Health Sciences to train community midwives as well as building capacity for medical staff in district hospitals and health centres.

Other activities will involve waste management assistance and the provision of medical equipment for health centres and district hospitals in Mounlapamok and Soukhoumma.

The programme’s phase II will also focus on strengthening emergency obstetric care in Champassak and Khong district hospitals as well as setting up the Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission of HIV/AIDS project at the health centre level.

In collaboration with the Lao and Swiss Red Cross, the programme will continue to operate a voucher scheme for free delivery, ante- and postnatal care, pregnancy complications, round-trips from village to health centre, food and referral.

“The second phase will add free care services for children under five in line with the Ministry of Health notice No 0785, August 2012,” the press release said.

The programme will also work at the village level by providing health education on sexual practices, the reproductive system, care of newborns and children under five, according to the press release.

Director of the Mother and Child Health Center, Dr Khampiou Sihakang, said the programme supports government efforts to attain the Millennium Development Goals by 2015 as targeted, specifically goals 4 and 5 to reduce infant mortality and improve maternal health.

Deputy Governor of Champassak province Mr Bounthong Divisay and relevant officials attended the signing ceremony.


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