VIENTIANE, Nov. 16 (Xinhua) -- Laos has confirmed that it will cooperate with other nations in the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS) in a bid to eliminate malaria in the country by 2030.
However, the challenges in the region to reach the malaria elimination goal are not to be underestimated, local daily Vientiane Times reported on Friday.
Sustaining financing, human resources capacity building, primary health care partnerships and ownership are some of the key pillars that will support reaching the ultimate goal.
This was the message from the Lao Deputy Health Minister Phouthone Moungpak when he addressed the 12th Meeting of the Regional Steering Committee (RSC) of the Global Fund, an international financing organization headquartered in Switzerland, on Wednesday in Lao capital Vientiane.
But he noted that access to malaria prevention and treatment services among at-risk populations has significantly improved.
"We will continue to work with donor agencies, technical agencies, implementing partners, civil society organizations and countries in the GMS region for malaria elimination," he said.
"We understand that Laos alone would also not achieve malaria elimination unless international and development partners and all key stakeholders commit to supporting the malaria elimination initiative in Laos and the region," he added.
The malaria burden in Laos has been declining over the last decade with the burden reduced by 59 percent in 2017 compared to 2010.
With more than 1,200 health facilities, 1,500 village malaria volunteers and 900 public-private mixed partnerships, the access to malaria prevention and treatment services in Laos has significantly improved.