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JCV boosts healthcare for mothers and children in Laos
The health of numerous children under five years of age, including pregnant women in rural areas of Champassak province, has progressively improved with parents having better access to expanded immunisation supported by Accompany Japanese Committee for Vaccination (JCV).
Since 2007, JCV has granted more than US$1.7 million in assistance to Laos through UNICEF, and hundreds of thousands of children and pregnant women have benefited from the programme.
This information was outlined this week as a delegation from JCV visited the province from October 10 to12. The visit was led by JCV Director General Ms Mitsuko Ito to mark the 10th Anniversary of JCV assistance to Laos.
Champassak provincial Health Department Dr Somkiet Volalath told media that people in the target areas now had better services from the programme, which could decrease the rates of maternal and child mortality, especially diseases that could be prevented by vaccines such as measles, whooping cough, and diphtheria. This would help the country eliminate the infections and diseases.
Dr Somkiet, who is also Vice President of the Provincial Commission of Mother and Child, stressed that the new types of vaccines had been developed and were increasingly used to prevent other diseases such as pneumonia and diarrhoea.
“Children who have been vaccinated are protected from infections from these high-risk diseases and maybe disorders that cause birth defects or death in children,” Dr Somkiet said.
“So, all children have the right to be protected. If children have not been vaccinated they are at a higher risk of illness, permanent disability, poor nutrition and even death.”
During the visit, Ms Ito spoke briefly about mobilising funding from the various sectors in Japan to support the programme in Laos, before taking the opportunity to visit programme sites in the target areas. The JCV delegation also visited the tourist sites in the province, including Vat Phou Temple, which is one of the World Heritage Sites in Laos.
Child mortality rates in Champassak province, (neonatal, infant and under-five) are significantly above the national average.
Most essential maternal and child health services, such as antenatal care, postnatal care, 90+pills during pregnancy, delivery by trained personnel, and ORS/home fluids for children with diarrhoea, reach less than 40 percent of pregnant women and children in Champassak province.
Immunisation coverage for most essential vaccines (BCG1, DPT3, Polio, and Measles) is close to the national average.
BCG1 coverage has been maintained above 70 percent during the 2014-2016 periods. However, there is a huge difference between districts: where Phonthong district shows BCG1 coverage of 93 percent and Pakxong district has only 61 percent coverage, according to the department.
Over 80 percent of Champassak’s population is relying on integrated health outreach (1 day or overnight) for accessing essential maternal, child health and nutrition services and information. This suggests a huge importance of ensuring adequate frequency and quality of integrated outreach services.
Less than 35 percent of villages are provided health services by district and provincial hospitals, whereas almost 70 percent of villages receive services by health centres.

By Times Reporters
(Latest Update
October 13,

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