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IPPF's RESPOND Team Visits Laos


IPPF's RESPOND Team Visits Laos

A team from IPPF’s RESPOND Project Management Unit paid another country visit to review and observe the ongoing work on the RESPOND program – this time to Laos, where IPPF ESEAOR’s collaborating partn...

A team from IPPF’s RESPOND Project Management Unit paid another country visit to review and observe the ongoing work on the RESPOND program – this time to Laos, where IPPF ESEAOR’s collaborating partner The Promotion of Family Health Association (PFHA) – a highly respected and leading Non-Profit Association in the country - provides vital SRH services in two northern provinces through the programme, supported by a two year grant from the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). The only landlocked country in Southeast Asia, Lao People's Democratic Republic is a socialist state with a population of seven million (approx.) spread across largely mountainous and undeveloped areas, which means that many of the indigenous communities in these areas have difficulties in accessing quality healthcare. Focusing on remote rural areas in mountainous regions, RESPOND supports the strengthening of government-run health centres that services ethnic communities in hard-to-reach locations, often over difficult terrain and often with no access to running water, basic healthcare infrastructure or information. Mobile clinics help to address this by reaching out to remote villages, located many hours away by dirt road from the nearest health centre.

Our team met with the enthusiastic and hospitable staff of PFHA at their head office in the capital city of Vientiane, as well as visited the rural district of Nalae in the Luang Namtha Province - a long and bumpy journey through gravel roadways in the mountains, where they witnessed first-hand the ongoing work at the district health centres, whilst also having the opportunity to meet with both the young medical officers on duty, clients and local district health officials. 

#CSurge #WomensRights4Health #IPPF #RESPOND

What Did our Team Have to Say? 

What Did our Team Have to Say? 

“We were so pleased to finally get to visit Lao to see some of the incredible work being carried out by Lao PFHA team. Mobile services to hard-to-reach villages and increased staffing at twenty health centers in the remote mountainous region of northern Lao mean improved access to family planning and SRH services for remote communities. The passion and commitment from the young team at the health centers was very evident during our visit in Nalae district.  -  Greg Gray, RESPOND Project Lead.  

“Our visit was a great opportunity to understand the critical role of communication in advancing SRHR, especially among ethnic communities. We look forward to working with PFHA to highlight success stories through case studies and the challenges women and girls face in accessing SRH services in remote areas.” - Malarvili Meganathan, Communications Manager  

“PFHA has been able to develop a user-centric telehealth model to enable greater access to SRH in of the most remote and under-resourced geographies of Laos through assessing digital maturity. Happy to see how PFHA has focussed on strengthening health systems by capacitating healthcare providers on telemedicine, and last-mile delivery of SRH through home-based care. Generating evidence and learning will be crucial for PFHA to improve quality of care, and embed the new delivery channels in the public health system. As PFHA continues to innovate on self-care and telehealth in strategic partnership with the government, we hope PFHA demonstrates a sustainable, integrative SRH care model for all.” - Shivam Shumsher, DHI Officer 

“Despite the numerous challenges, including the limited financial resources allocated to them, we were impressed with the commitment and enthusiasm shown by the young teams in Nalae district in carrying out scheduled activities that were initiated and coordinated by the LAO Respond Team from Vientiane.” - Richard Tho, Finance Lead 

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