USAID and FAO Handover Personal Protective Equipment to the Department of Livestock and Fisheries to Ensure Safety of Veterinarians and Animal Health Workers
Vientiane, Lao PDR – On April 25, 2022, the United States through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) handed over Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and disinfectant materials to Mrs. Vilayphone Vorraphim, Director General of the Department of Livestock and Fisheries, at the office of the Department of Livestock and Fisheries of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. The support will ensure the safety of veterinarians and animal health workers investigating animal diseases in the field and aid in preventing disease spread. The generous support was made possible by the U.S. Government through USAID under the Global Health Security Project, implemented by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations.
At the handover ceremony, Mrs. Vilayphone Vorraphim, Director General of the Department of Livestock and Fisheries, expressed her gratitude to FAO and the U.S. Government through USAID on the PPE and disinfectant materials donated. She said: “Because Lao PDR has long borders with all its five neighbors and as there is substantial cross-border trade of livestock and livestock products, there is a high risk of the introduction of common and new emerging animal transmissible diseases. With this donation from USAID, veterinarians and animal health workers will be ensured for their safety when investigating animal diseases in the field and in the laboratories.” She added, “this is especially the case with zoonotic diseases such as highly pathogenic avian influenza, brucellosis, leptospirosis and rabies.”
The supplies consist of full body suits, masks, gloves, goggles, shoe protectors and disinfectant that have a total combined value of over USD 50,000. The supplies will be delivered to all 148 districts in Lao PDR to ensure each district is prepared for any unexpected outbreak of transboundary animal diseases or zoonotic diseases (transmissible to humans) which are common in the South-East Asia region.
At the ceremony, USAID Country Representative to Laos Mr. Michael Ronning highlighted the expanding U.S.-Lao Comprehensive Partnership. “USAID is committed to supporting Lao PDR under the Partnership in the fight against zoonotic diseases and other health threats including COVID-19. We value the collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry and FAO in this important work.”
Mr. Hayat Nasar, FAO Representative to Lao PDR, stressed that “livestock diseases have severely adverse impact not only for farmers but also on the food system, food security and nutrition, and income security, for the rural population, especially for the poor and the most vulnerable. Many people, especially in the rural population have been pushed back to hunger and poverty due to the loss of livestock caused by diseases such as African Swine Fever and Avian Influenza. Only through our partnership and collaboration, we could fight these transboundary diseases effectively, save livestock and human lives and gradually build back better.”. Mr. Hayat Nasar also emphasized that “FAO stands committed in continuing our support to assist the Government to better deal with livestock diseases and thanks to the USAID contribution and partnership to support the Government of Lao PDR in combating poverty and hardship.”
Lao Media Contact Person/s:
Bounmee Maokhamphiou, Outreach Specialist – Bounmee.Maokhamphiou@fao.org
Vilaylack Khounvisith, National Communication Consultant – Vilaylack.Khounvisith@fao.org
- Global Health Security Agenda
- USAID Global Health Security
- FAO’s Emergency Centre for Transboundary Animal Diseases
- FAO One Health
- FAO Antimicrobial Resistance