healtharticles, news

Articles in health

Major Infectious Diseases in Laos


The major infectious diseases likely to be encountered in Laos where the risk of such diseases is assessed to be very high. These infectious diseases represent risks to foreigner personnel traveling to the specified country for a period of less than three years. The degree of risk is assessed by considering the foreign nature of these infectious diseases, their severity, and the probability of being affected by the diseases present. The diseases listed do not necessarily represent the total disease burden experienced by the local population.

Food and Nutrition Policy

| |

The Lao PDR still does not have an explicit nutrition policy or a national food and nutrition plan. While a newly created National Committee on Food and Nutrition exists, it lacks a clear mandate to carry out the necessary steps for solving the nation's food and nutrition problems. Generally, the government views nutrition as a family responsibility, and consequently central level authorities have allocated a limited health budget for nutrition activities. The target population for government policy is preschool children,. representing a very small percentage of the total child population.

Micronutrient deficiencies


Micronutrient deficiencies are also an important nutritional problem in Lao PDR. Although up to the present there have been no detail precided data but most of those deficiencies are as below.

Iodine deficiency

Food and Nutrition Situation


The effects of household food security issues are most clearly reflected in the nation's food and nutrition status. As with any quantitative assessment for the Lao PDR, however, the food and nutrition situation presented here must be considered very carefully, since information systems are only rudimentarily developed and there are no institutionalized nutrition surveys. Even where nutrition status data are available, explicit statements of definitions, criteria, cut-off points, and the like are frequently varied and sometimes even missing. Nonetheless, data from a few prior nutrition surveys. current hospital records, site visits, and interviews highlight the Lao PDR's present nutrition problems and their extent.

Public Health Nutrition


This article provides information from the Lao People's Democratic Republic on household food security, current nutrition problems, their magnitudes and trends, food and nutrition policy and activities, and strategies for the development of short- and long-term approaches to dealing with the problems. The data were collected through published and unpublished documents, observations of Lao PDR medical and health facilities, rural schools, and villages, and interviews with Laotian nutrition and health specialists. The findings show that house-hold food security rests unstably on a risk-diffusion strategy and women's participation. A number of nutrition disorders are also prevalent. Control strategies require both long- and short-term actions focusing on assessment, advocacy, planning, training, appropriate model development, and communication for food and nutrition.

National Drug Policy

| | |

The National Drug Policy (NDP) of Lao PDR, endorsed in 1993, has since 1995 been implemented through an intervention program in five pilot areas out of 18 provinces, including training of health personnel. The aim was to assess the impact of the NDP program to get evidence for revising the policy. In a cross sectional design, comparisons were made between the pilot province of Luangphrabang (LPB) and the non-pilot province of Sayabury (SBR). In each province, three districts were purposively chosen. Four pharmacies at the public hospitals were included, while 20 private pharmacies were randomly selected. A set of 29 combined indicators was utilized. One hundred and ten prescriptions for under-five children with simple diarrhea and 240 adult outpatient prescriptions were sampled. Furthermore, twelve health care managers were interviewed on knowledge and attitudes. LPB health managers had better knowledge of NDP concepts. Significantly more essential drugs (ED) were available in the private pharmacies in the pilot province. The proportion of prescriptions of ED in hospitals was higher in the pilot province (95% in LPB vs 86% in SBR; p<0.001). Fewer drugs per patient were prescribed in the pilot province (2.7 vs 3.3, p<0.001), and the management of simple diarrhea in children was significantly more in accordance with Standard Treatment Guidelines. The pilot province performed significantly better regarding several aspects of quality and rational use of drugs, probably related to the implementation program. National as well as regional and global diffusion of research findings is recommended towards evidence-based national drug policies.

Drugs Quality of Private Pharmacies in Laos

| |

Substandard or counterfeit drugs has been reported in countries where drug regulations are ineffective use of low quality drugs can result in adverse clinical outcomes such as lack of effect risk for development of bacterial resistance, toxicity or side effects.


| | |

The Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR) currently faces a concentrated epidemic with an adult HIV prevalence of 0.1 percent. Since the first case was identified in 1990, the number of infections has continued to grow. In 2005, UNAIDS estimated that 3,700 people in Lao PDR were living with HIV.

Mother and Child Health

| |

Grass-roots level studies have demonstrated how severe the combined effects of early motherhood, poor hygiene practices, lack of awareness of basic nutrition and poor pre-natal, postnatal and early childhood care can be on a growing and developing nation. In addition, chronic lack of medicines, medical equipment and clinical skills dissuades women from seeking care for themselves or their children.

Public health

Healthcare in Laos was poor in the early 1990s. Although diets are not grossly inadequate, chronic moderate vitamin and protein deficiencies are common, particularly among upland ethnic groups. Poor sanitation and the prevalence of several tropical diseases further eroded the health of the population. Western medical care is available in few locations, and the quality and experience of practitioners are, for the most part, marginal, a situation that has not improved much since the 1950s.

News in health


Browse the most comprehensive and up-to-date articles, news in the following Subcategories.