IMG 9059 Daniel Hodgson

Photo: UN in Lao PDR/Daniel Hodgson

Lao button

Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all

Key Development Trends Based on a joint estimate by UNFPA, UNICEF, World Bank and WHO, the maternal mortality ratio in Lao PDR declined to 206 per 100,000 live births in 2015, achieving the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) target, although it remains high when compared to other countries in the region. Joint UN estimates also showed a 59 percent decline in the under-five mortality rate from 162 deaths per 1,000 live births in 1990 to 46 in 2017. 
An ongoing health sector reform, encompasses human resources, health financing and health system governance. The existing Health Equity Fund  schemes and Free Delivery of Maternal, Neonatal and Child Health Care will need further strengthening to lay the foundation for a national program and move towards Universal Health Coverage. 

Over the past 15 years, Lao PDR has kept HIV prevalence generally low. However,  HIV incidence is increasing, unlike in some neighbouring countries, and HIV prevalence also is increasing in sub-groups of key populations. HIV testing and counselling services have improved, but insufficient demand is an issue, since most are unaware that HIV testing should be done even if they feel well. The majority of people living with HIV do not understand the risks of not starting treatment early: well over half the newly diagnosed cases are already at an advanced stage of HIV infection. 

Malaria is on the rise in the south of Lao PDR after having declined since 2000. The increase appears to be associated with economic activities and large development projects. The fight against tuberculosis shows a mixed picture: the first-ever national TB prevalence survey (2010-11) revealed that Lao PDR had more than halved the prevalence of all forms of TB since 1990 and that the TB treatment success rate was high. However, the survey also found that only a third of all TB cases were detected and the remaining two-thirds undiagnosed and untreated, indicating weaknesses in the TB detection and control services.

The Prime Minister’s Office declared a national public health emergency in January 2016 due to a vaccine derived polio outbreak. 7 cases had been confirmed by January 2016. The outbreak has since been contained.

Injuries, especially those due to road accidents, have increased in frequency and severity, accounting for 9 percent of total deaths.  Road accident statistics show a three-fold rise of deaths from road accidents, from 5.4 per 100,000 in 2005 to 15.3 per 100,000 in 2015. 

Promoting health and well-being is one of 17 Global Goals that make up the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. An integrated approach is crucial for progress across the multiple goals.Learn more about Goal 3 and its targets.

Sustainable Development Goals

SDG film Dee lead pic

Lao PDR then & now

Laos CountryStory

The Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation commends Lao PDR’s partnership mechanisms for more effective development co-operation.

Look at our photo stories

Exposure screenshot resized

Read our brochure

Read our Post-Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) report