Basic training and equipment needed
Laos has progressed over the past 20 years by halving poverty and reducing malnutrition but there is still a long way to go.
48% of deaths in U5s occur in the neonatal period, 29% from Intrapartum related events and 28% from Preterm birth complications.
Half of maternal deaths are due to hypertension and haemorrhage. Many could be avoided with basic training and equipment. (WHO and Maternal and Child Epidemiology Estimation Group (MCEE) 2018).
Raising the standards
In poorer rural provinces like Salavan, progress is significantly below than national averages. For example, the rate for stunting in U5s is 43% compared to the national average of 30%.
Nationally, 64% of deliveries are attended by a skilled birth attendant but we know from our observations that the figure in Salavan can be as low as 25%.
Laos has the highest proportion of teen pregnancy in ASEAN countries, 1 in 10 girls have given birth to their first child before age 17. Marriage takes place from as young as 14 years old in Salavan villages and 3/4 of these girls either drop out or are behind in school. They are also at risk of child labour and trafficking.