JSI to Help Advance Maternal and Child Health and Nutrition in Laos

February 3rd, 2023 | Press Release


We are excited to announce the launch of a new five-year USAID-supported maternal and child health and nutrition (MCHN) project in Laos. On February 3 in the capital city Vientiane, JSI signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Laos Ministry of Health (MOH) to begin our partnership.

Dr. Phonepaseuth Ounaphom, director general of the Department of Hygiene and Health Promotion, MOH, and Mr. Brian Mulligan, JSI chief of party, signed the MOU. Witnesses included Dr. Sanong Thongsana, vice minister of health; Dr. Peter M. Haymond, ambassador of the United States; Mr. Mark Kowalski, JSI international division director; and more than 50 people from the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and development partners.

JSI will implement the project in close collaboration with the MOH in five provinces: Phongsaly, Oudomxay, Savannakhet, Saravane, and Sekong. The project will improve health and nutrition outcomes among pregnant and postpartum women, newborns, children, and adolescents in hard-to-reach communities.

To achieve this vision, the project is aligned with the Lao PDR’s Sam Sang Directive, which delegates increasing responsibility to local administrative levels. In support of the MOH’s Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health Strategy and Action Plan (2016–2025), the project will strengthen capacity of national, provincial, and district health partners and engage communities to work with the health system to achieve better health outcomes by:

  • Increasing access to and use of MCHN services.
  • Improving the quality of MCHN services.
  • Strengthening health system capacity at all levels.
  • Promoting the adoption of optimal MCHN behaviors by families and communities.

At the launch, U.S. Ambassador Haymond said, “The United States is proud to continue our support to improve the health and nutrition of the people of Laos. Our comprehensive health assistance helps strengthen Laos’ health system in preparation for any health crises in the future so the Lao people can be kept safe and healthy.”

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