Japan funds dental hygiene training programme in Laos

The Japanese government has provided grant assistance worth US$300,000 to set up a dental hygiene training programme in Vientiane province in Laos, through its Grant Assistance for Japanese NGO Projects. The dental hygiene course will be taught at the Public Health School, with the aim of improving dental and oral health care in Laos.

dental hygiene Laos
Ambassador Kenichi Kobayashi (seated left) and Prof Dr Takashi Miyata on Friday display a signed grant agreement, watched by senior ministry officials. (Image: Vientiane Times)

Japanese Ambassador to Laos Kenichi Kobayashi and president of the Organisation of International Support for Dental Education, Prof Dr Takashi Miyata signed a grant agreement on the programme at the Japanese Embassy on 22 Mar.

“With the strong support of the Japanese government, we have worked to establish a dental hygienist system. This project supports the set-up of a dental hygienist training course in Vientiane province by providing the facilities and equipment necessary for dental education and technical support,” said Prof Dr Miyata.

“The training will improve dental and oral care in remote areas and prevent tooth and gum decay and disease. We will do our utmost to improve the health situation for the people of Laos, in collaboration with Vientiane province and the Faculty of Dentistry at the University of Health Sciences,” Prof Dr Miyata added.

Japan’s Grant Assistance for Japanese NGO Projects is provided by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan for economic and social development projects voluntarily planned and implemented by Japanese international cooperation NGOs in developing countries and regions.

To support Lao socio-economic development goals in infrastructure, education, health, UXO, tourism, and more, the Government of Japan has provided more than $13m through Japanese NGOs over the past five years.

“In recent years, health indicators in Laos have shown significant improvement, but there is still much room for improvement in dental and oral health. Dental and oral diseases without proper treatment are known to cause other diseases, but it is possible to prevent the occurrence and progression of these diseases. For this reason, there are health professionals such as dental hygienists, worldwide. However, in Laos, training in this field has been lagging,” ambassador Kobayashi said.

“This dental hygienist training course is modelled after the dental hygiene education system in Japan. We hope that this support will train high-quality dental hygienists to tackle dental and oral diseases and will improve health indicators for local residents and for Laos as a whole,” ambassador Kobayashi added.

Japan will continue to actively cooperate with NGOs to support initiatives to improve the basic standard of living at the grassroots level in Laos, to ensure “no-one is left behind”.

Moreover, the Japanese government provided grant assistance worth approximately $82,000 to Phongsaly province through its Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects. The grant supports the construction of a new hospital building and the provision of medical equipment, hospital furniture and a water tank at Phiasu Small Hospital in Bountay district, Phongsaly province.

The grant agreement was signed by Ambassador Kenichi Kobayashi and representatives of the provincial authority, witnessed by the Governor of Phongsaly province, Mr Khamphoy Vannasane.

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