Statements and Webcast
Lao People's Democratic Republic
H.E. Dr. Ponmek Dalaloy, Minister for Health
9 June 2011
- Statement: English (Check against delivery)
PONMEK DALALOY, Minister for Health of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, said that today, there was more integration in preventing and controlling communicable and non-communicable diseases, even as the identity and specificity of individual approaches remained. Since 2006, his country had reiterated its determination to establish a strong national HIV response, aiming at universal access to a comprehensive prevention, treatment, care and support programme. Among the key milestones in that effort were the establishment of a multisectoral coordination body and the adopting of a new National Strategic Action Plan on HIV/AIDS/STI 2011-2015. To monitor possible emerging epidemics, the State’s HIV surveillance system had been progressively strengthened. At the same time, its prevention programme was made more comprehensive through the launch of a 100 per cent condom initiative, as well as a national treatment programme that now had five operational centres across the country.
He also highlighted the National Assembly’s endorsement of an HIV law, as well as the integration of the domestic HIV programme into regional initiatives. His Government was thankful, he said, for financial support from the Global Fund, as well as the financial and technical assistance provided by UNAIDS, bilateral development partners and international non-governmental organizations. He acknowledged, however, that the virus continued to pose social and economic threats to the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, which was surrounded by five fast-growing neighbours. Indeed, the virus was spreading in specific population segments where transmission was especially prevalent. Current projects indicated there would be 1,000 new infections every year, with rates particularly rising among men having sex with men and intravenous drug users. That data suggested that efforts to combat the spread of HIV had to be strengthened, in terms of both coverage and the sustainability and quality of services, he said.