The two-day event LEARN Knowledge Translation and LEARN Evaluation was successfully held in the capital city of Vientiane on July 30 & 31.

The event aimed to evaluate the 5 years of the program LEARN (Lao Equity through Policy Analysis and Research Networks).
Present at the event were EU Head of Cooperation to the Lao PDR, Bryan Fornari; HE Mr Leon Faber – EU Ambassador to Lao PDR; Vice Minister of Health, HE Mr Khamphone Phouthavong; Dr. Bounthom Samountry, Acting President of University of Health Sciences; Dr. Sengchanh Kounnavong, Director of the Lao Tropical and Public Health Institute.

Delegates participate in group discussion. Photo: MCNV Laos

On the first day of the event, the delegates participated in discussion on the achievements, lessons learned from the 5-year journey of LEARN and the plan for a follow-up program in the time to come.
The second day of the event began with the launch of the LEARN Special Issue of Global Health Action Journal, in which 14 thesis were published from the LEARN Master in Public Health program and PhD program.

MCNV Laos Country Director Rebecca Derry presents the Global Health Action journal to his excellency, Mr. Khamphone Phouthavong, Vice Minister of Health. Photo: MCNV Laos

Being conducted in a period of five years, the 14 thesis look into multi angles of reproductive health and nutrition in Lao PDR, such as Pregnancy Health Literacy among Teenagers, Factors Influencing Sexual Reproductive Health Among Adolescents, Stillbirth in Lao PDR, Anaemia Among Adolescents, Quality of Family Planning Services for Women of Reproductive Age.

In particular, much of the research was focused on tackling long-term issues like malnutrition and teen pregnancy and helps to point out newly emerging issues such as the increase in obesity in the urban areas of Laos.
The two-day event was concluded with the graduation ceremony for the second cohort of Master in Public Health students.

Second cohort of Master in Public Health under LEARN celebrates their graduation ceremony. Photo: MCNV Laos

As part of LEARN, 19 students of University of Health Science (Laos) have completed their Master in Public Health. The first cohort of 9 marked their graduation in February 2020.

Funded by the European Union (EU) and coordinated by MCNV Laos, VU University of Amsterdam, Hanoi University of Public Health, the project Lao Equity through Policy Analysis and Research Networks (LEARN) aims to support the Lao Tropical and Public Health Institute (Lao TPHI) and University of Health Sciences, Faculty of Public health.

With this support these institutes can provide national health authorities and stakeholders with expertise, documentation, reports and relevant tools for increasingly evidence-based health policy-making. The project will enhance the institutional development; build capacities, and increase resources of Lao TPHI and University of Health Sciences, faculty of public health.