Category Archives: Medical and Health Care

Consultation meeting on the National Population and Development Policy (2019-2030)

The consultation meeting on the draft National Population and Development Policy (2019-2030) was organized in Vientiane Capital on 22 August 2018. It was chaired by Ms. Phonevanh Outhavong, Director General of Planning Department, and co-chaired by Ms. Frederika Meijer, Representative, UNFPA Lao PDR, and participated by more than 50 representatives from line ministries and development partners.

The meeting was organized for one day with the support from the United Nations Population Fund Lao PDR to discuss the revision of the NPDP which was adopted in 2006 and has been implemented for the past 10 years. Based on the assessment of the NPDP implementation, there are a number of achievements and progresses, including an increase in net primary education enrollment from 94% in 2010-2011 to 98.7% in 2016-2017; an increased access to reproductive health services, a reduction in under-5 mortality from 98 per 1000 live births in 2005 to 86 per 1000 in 2015, a reduction in maternal mortality from 405 per 100,000 live births to 206 per 100,000 in 2015. Despite these achievements, challenges remain and some targets are difficult to measure, thus it is difficult for monitoring and assessing the achievement.

Recently the socio-economic situation has significantly changed. According to the 4th Population and Housing Census in 2015, the working-age population (15-64 years old) accounted for 63.7%, which was increased from 56.7% in 2005. This indicates a demographic opportunity for Lao PDR. Therefore, the revised NPDP (2019-2030) will consist of 9 Goals aiming at developing quality of the Lao population and ensuring that they can benefit from the equitable and inclusive socio-economic development. The revised policy will focus on addressing issues such as reproductive health, skills development, urban development, population growth, maternal and child mortality, demographic dividends, youth development especially adolescent girls. This policy is in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and other national policies. Furthermore, the NPDP will continue to implement the national commitment to the implementation of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD).

Source: Lao News Agency

Germany Accepts Former Nazi Slave-labor Camp Guard Jakiw Palij

The United States expresses its deep appreciation to the Federal Republic of Germany for re-admitting former Nazi slave-labor camp guard Jakiw Palij, who was removed from the United States on August 20.

During World War II, Palij served as an armed guard at the Trawniki slave-labor camp for Jews in Nazi-occupied Poland. He concealed his Nazi service when he immigrated to the United States from Germany in 1949. A federal court stripped Palij of his citizenship in 2003 and a U.S. immigration judge ordered him removed from the United States in 2004 based on his wartime activities and postwar immigration fraud.

Source: U.S. State Department

U.S. Delegation Attends the 30th Pacific Islands Forum

A high-level U.S. government delegation comprised of senior officials from the U.S. Department of State, U.S. Department of Defense, U.S. Coast Guard, and the U.S. Agency for International Development will attend the 30th Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) Leaders Session with Forum Dialogue Partners on September 4, 2018 in Nauru. The delegation will be led by Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke. This visit will underscore our close partnership with the Pacific Islands in promoting sustainable growth and prosperity, ensuring regional stability, and addressing global concerns.

The U.S. delegation will host a roundtable with Pacific Islands leaders on September 4, 2018. Members of the U.S. delegation will also conduct bilateral consultations with heads of state of Pacific Islands Forum members and other senior foreign officials to discuss issues of regional and global importance, including regional security, responding to the threat posed by the activities of the DPRK, combatting illegal fishing, and sustainable development.

The Pacific Islands region is an enduring foreign policy priority for the United States. Through 17 of our departments and agenciesthe United States committed more than $350 million in FY 2016 to our engagement with the Pacific Islands via projects, assistance, and operations that directly benefit the 9 million people of the region.

For more information: Follow the State Department’s Bureau of East Asia Pacific Affairs at @USAsiaPacific for updates on U.S. participation in the Pacific Islands Forum 2018.

Source: U.S. State Department

Singapore Rescue Team To Help Flood Victims In Attapeu

A 32member Home Team contingent, comprising 14 officers from the Singapore Police Force (SPF), three victim recovery dogs from the SPF K9 Unit, and 18 Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) officers arrived in Laos on Aug 13 on a Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) C130 transport aircraft. The Home Team contingent will assist with victim recovery efforts in the disaster area in Attapeu Province.

The Home Team contingent was received by Mr Dominic Goh, Singapore’s Ambassador to the Lao PDR.

The 18 SCDF officers are from the Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team (DART).

They replace the first batch of 17 rescuers from the DART who have been assisting with victim recovery efforts in Attapeu from Aug 313. The DART will work together with the SPF K9 Unit to search for victims.

The RSAF transport aircraft also delivered 1,000 units of portable water filter kits donated by Singapore NGO Temasek Foundation International (TFI) to support Laos’ disaster relief efforts.

Each water filter kit can provide a family of four with clean drinking water for about five months, without the use of electricity.

The water filter kits can be distributed to each affected family to enable them to filter clean drinking water.

The donations were handed over to Mr Boualin Vongphachanh, Vice Governor of Champasak Province by Mr Robin Hu, Head, Stewardship and Sustainability Group of TFI.

Source: Lao News Agency

UN In Laos Aids Thousands Affected By Flash Flood In Southern Laos

As relief operations continue in flooded villages of Attapeu province of southern Laos, United Nations agencies are working with the government and humanitarian partners to bring in clean water, food, shelter and medical aid for the more than 13,000 people affected by the floods.

In order to address the most pressing needs, the Humanitarian Country Team in the Lao PDR has activated eight priority clusters, namely Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, Health, Food Security and Nutrition, Shelter, Protection, Education, Logistics and Early Recovery.

These clusters are coordinating response activities among key stakeholders including the government, UN agencies, international non-government organisations, donors and other partners.

The United Nations in the Lao PDR, in close coordination with the government, continues to provide food and non-food items such as Water, Sanitation and Hygiene supplies, water taps, electric pumps, tents, mosquito nets and medical items to the over 6,000 affected people living in camps.

A joint Disaster Response Plan has been developed by the Humanitarian Country Team and presented to the government, with generous contributions by donors already made.

Mr. Khampheng Saysompheng, Minister of Labour and Social Welfare, said after hearing the immediate and longer-term emergency assistance programme from Ms. Kaarina Immonen, UN Resident Coordinator: The programme is important and the government is ready to cooperate to implement this plan. We count on international organisations to provide support and seek funding to resolve this disaster.

As expressed by the government at a recent press conference, four priority areas require support: Research and rescue of those missing; rehabilitation of roads and bridges that have been damaged; food supplies and utensils; and medical equipment and supplies, including vaccination to prevent disease outbreaks, ambulances and mental health support.

The priority of the United Nations is to provide immediate emergency relief to address the needs of the affected populations while working on a medium and longer-term response plan. We have developed a Disaster Response Plan that highlights the collective efforts in immediate assistance and early recovery initiatives of the Humanitarian Country Team to support the government of the Lao PDR and people affected by the floods, stated Ms. Kaarina Immonen, UN Resident Coordinator.

Thirty UN staff from eight agencies are on the ground to support the ongoing operation. A team of experts from headquarter and regional offices specialized in emergency assessment, rapid initial assessment, logistics support, risk communications, displacement management, health and camp coordination has also arrived.

Tropical Storm Son-Tinh caused heavy rains and flooding in 13 provinces and unprecedented flash floods in Attapeu Province – the largest national tragedy in Lao PDR’s recent history.

Source: Lao News Agency

Cars Powered by New Fuel Type Tested in Australia

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA Australian scientists have test driven two cars powered by a carbon-free fuel derived from ammonia. A team from the Australian government’s research agency, the CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization), says the pioneering technology will allow highly flammable hydrogen to be safely transported in the form of ammonia and used as a widely available fuel.

Researchers have found a way to use a thin membrane to turn Australian-made hydrogen into ammonia. This could be shipped safely to markets in Asia, as well as parts of Europe. At its destination, the liquid ammonia would then be converted back into hydrogen, and used to power cars and buses, as well as for electricity generation and industrial processes.

David Harris, CSIRO research director says the special thing about the technology that we have is that it allows you to produce very pure hydrogen directly with a membrane system from ammonia.

The technology has the support of Japanese car maker Toyota and South Korea’s Hyundai Motor Company.

‘Watershed moment’

Scientists say hydrogen, a highly-flammable gas that can be volatile and hard to transport safely, creates a low emission fuel for cars. The Australian team describes the membrane technology that separates hydrogen from other gases as a watershed moment for energy.

Claire Johnson, the chief executive of Hydrogen Mobility Australia, an industry association, says the pioneering research could forever change the transport sector.

We see that as a really exciting opportunity to decarbonize the transport sector, but also position Australia as one of the lead suppliers of hydrogen around the world. There is some competition to play that role, however. Norway, Brunei and Saudi Arabia have all flagged that they wish to be an exporter of hydrogen around the world.

There are only a handful of hydrogen-powered cars in Australia, but there are tens of thousands across Japan, South Korea and Singapore. The South Korean government has recently announced plans for 16,000 more hydrogen-fueled cars and 310 special refilling stations.

Source: Voice of America

Department of State Announces Online Publication of 2017 Digest of United States Practice in International Law

The Department of State is pleased to announce the release of the 2017 Digest of United States Practice in International Law, covering developments during calendar year 2017. The Digest provides the public with a record of the views and practice of the Government of the United States in public and private international law. The official edition of the 2017 Digest is available exclusively on the State Department’s website at: www.state.gov/s/l/c8183.htm. Past Digests covering 1989 through 2016 are also available on the State Department’s website. The Digest is edited by the Office of the Legal Adviser.

The Digest traces its history back to an 1877 treatise by John Cadwalader, which was followed by multi-volume encyclopedias covering selected areas of international law. The Digest later came to be known to many as Whiteman’s after Marjorie Whiteman, the editor from 1963-1971. Beginning in 1973, the Office of the Legal Adviser published the Digest on an annual basis, changing its focus to documentation current to the year. Although publication was temporarily suspended after 1988, the office resumed publication in 2000 and has since produced volumes covering 1989 through 2016.

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Source: U.S. State Department

Techconnect Laos-Vietnam 2018 Launched

More than 300 entrepreneurs, representatives of research institutes and business community from Laos and Vietnam are attending the first ever Techconnect Laos-Vietnam opened in Vientiane on Aug 9, 2018.

The two-day event was launched in the presence of Minister of Science and Technology Boviengkham Vongdara, Deputy Minister of Science and Technology of Vietnam Tran Van Tung and senior officials of both countries.

This meeting and exhibition event will become a platform for promoting cooperation on research and technology transfer between public and private sectors and research institutes of the two countries thus making science and technology sector a key driver of national socio-economic development, said Minister Boveignkham.

The event also aims to strengthen the cooperation between the Lao and Vietnamese ministries and to provide the opportunity for entrepreneurs and research institutes from the two countries to exchange information and build network of commercial production promotion and technology transfer.

Exhibited at the event include innovations for agro processing, renewable energy, environment protection, telecommunications and service, and fisheries.

Memoranda of understanding was also signed by Lao and Vietnamese entrepreneurs to promote cooperation on technology, human resource development, culture and education exchange, clean agriculture development, and environment protection.

On this occasion, the Ministry of Science and Technology of Vietnam also donated VND 150 million to help flood victims in Attapeu Province.

Source: Lao News Agency