Fondation Merieux

A family foundation dedicated to fighting infectious diseases

Operations in Laos

Operations in Laos

Fondation Mérieux is active in Vientiane (Laos)

Independent since July 1949 and governed by a single political system, the official name is the Lao People’s Democratic Republic. Completely landlocked and divided into 18 provinces, the country stretches for 1,000 km from north to south and has a total area of 237,000 km2, 70% of which is mountains and high plateaus.

Health situation

The life-expectancy of Laos' 5.9 million inhabitants is no more than 60 years and the adult mortality rate is 33%. Over 27% of the population lives on less than one dollar a day and per-capita health expenditure accounts for no more than 4% of the country’s GDP, or 10 dollars per year.

Although people living in towns have easy access to drinking water, nearly 57% of the 5 million Laotians living in rural areas do not. On top of this, nearly 40% of children under the age of 5 suffer from malnutrition.

Fewer than 19,000 Laotians are affected by malaria, but the infection is difficult to treat because it is highly resistant to certain drugs. 18,500 Laotians are infected with tuberculosis, and the detection rate of the disease in the country is less than 50%. Furthermore, the appalling state of the country’s road systems continues to make access to treatment for tuberculosis and other infectious diseases an enormous problem. It is to the extent that only people living near hospitals are able to obtain treatment.


Clinical biology laboratories

Training and exchange of knowledge

  • Distance epidemiology training in Southeast Asia

  • Epidemiology training: In 2008, the joint project of the NTI-Global Health Security Initiative, Fondation Mérieux and the University of Edinburgh, made it possible to set up 'distance' training qualification courses on human and animal health. These courses are aimed at higher education students in Cambodia and Laos, veterinarians and epidemiologists, to offer them quality training without obliging them to leave their country to study. Developing the qualifications of professionals in human and veterinary medicine, environmental health and related sectors, is essential to reinforce the potential to combat infectious epidemics in this region.

  • GABRIEL Network



Laurent Malato
Laos Manager

E-mail: Send an e-mail

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