PSI has operated in Laos since 1999, implementing targeted behavior change interventions and social marketing products and services to address gaps in reproductive health, family planning, HIV/AIDS and STIs, sanitation, nutrition and TB.
PSI/Laos estimates that in 2013, its products and services helped avert:
- 107 new HIV infections
- 27 maternal deaths and 11,861 unintended pregnancies
PSI works closely with the Ministry of Health, Maternal and Child Health Center, provincial health departments, and UNFPA to strengthen the capacity of public sector providers to offer high-quality IUD services and improve client knowledge and demand for this under-utilized method. This partnership also completed the registration of contraceptive implants, a first for Laos, in 2014 and is preparing for national roll-out in 2015. In addition, PSI registered misoprostol in Laos for obstetric uses, and supports a commercial distributor to make this life-saving medicine available nationwide.
HIV and STI Prevention and Treatment
PSI is working to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted infections (STI) among most at risk populations including commercial sex workers, men who have sex with men, and transgenders. Through mass media and interpersonal communications strategies, and its MARP-run Drop-in-Center, PSI is increasing informed demand for condoms, lubricant and STI treatment kits. PSI also offers voluntary counseling and testing for STIs and HIV. PSI sells condoms and lubricants at subsidized prices to ensure they are accessible to most at risk populations.
As one of the first PSI platforms to add latrines to its list of health interventions, PSI Laos is implementing Sanitation Marketing with the aim of supporting the development of a sustainable, private sector supply of high quality, low-cost latrines in rural Laos. Supply side barriers to latrine access and affordability are being addressed through capacity building of local latrine producers, while demand is simultaneously created in rural villages through a direct sales approach carried out by trained sales agents. Sanitation-specific loans provided by village banks are also being piloted to help make latrines more affordable for the rural poor.
PSI is working to combat anemia and other vitamin and mineral deficiencies in young children in Laos by making micronutrient powder (MNP) widely available at affordable prices. PSI’s branded MNP, called SuperKid, contains 15 vitamins and minerals essential to the growth and development of children under 5. PSI is raising consumer demand for this product through a mass media campaign and outreach in target areas.
PSI’s Sun Quality Health social franchise network contributes to Laos’ national TB program by increasing case detection rates. PSI’s network of private providers screen patients, offer referrals, and assist TB patients in completing the full course of TB-DOTS treatment. A pharmacist TB screening referral program further increases case detection at minimal cost.
- The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria
- World Bank
- UN World Food Programme
- Ministry of Health
- Making Data Work for Malaria Elimination: Surveillance in the Private Sector
This two-page brief describes the importance and usefulness of the Malaria Case Surveillance App and provides a case study of how it has been used in Cambodia.
- The Public Private Mix Program and Antimalarial and Malaria Rapid Diagnostic Test Availability and Market Share in the Southern Lao PDR Private Sector
Access to first-line ACT and mRDT was higher in PPM district antimalarial stocking private sector outlets compared with non-PPM outlets. However, CQ availability and distribution was high in both PPM and non-PPM districts. Expansion of the PPM program could increase availability of mRDT and ACT, as well as improve provider treatment and dosing knowledge, all of which are paramount in the context of national malaria elimination goals in Lao PDR. However, interventions aimed at provider preference and consumer demand may also be necessary to reduce CQ availability and market share in the private sector.
- Applying a Total Market Lens: Increased IUD Service Delivery Through Complementary Public- and Private-Sector Interventions in Four Countries
In 2013, PSI started a pilot in four countries (Guatemala, Laos, Mali, and Uganda) to grow public-provider IUD service delivery through increased public-sector engagement while maintaining its ongoing focus on private providers. Preliminary results suggest that there is untapped demand for IUD service delivery in the public sector that can be met in part through greater participation of the public sector in family planning and IUD provision.
- Applying a Total Market Lens: Increasing IUD Service Delivery in Five PSI Countries
PSI piloted a public sector engagement strategy alongside existing private sector approaches in four countries with low IUD use and found that untapped demand can be met, in part, through greater participation of the public sector.
- Determinants of Self-Reported IUD Use Among Women of Reproductive Age in Laos
Under the 2013-2015 Women’s Health Project (WHP), PSI/Laos works to ensure that all Lao women have access to affordable family planning services and are equipped with the information they need to make informed contraceptive choices. PSI/Laos provides intensive technical assistance to build the capacity of public sector providers to enable them to offer voluntary IUD insertion services, while also using Interpersonal Communication (IPC) agents to generate informed demand for family planning methods through village-level outreach. Through the WHP, PSI/Laos aims to raise the percentage of WRA using IUDs from 1.6% in 2011 to 4.0% by the end of 2015.
- Improving Provider Behavior Change Communication and IPC: Best Practices from the Women’s Health Project
This brief describes the challenges faced, strategies developed, and lessons learned by the Women's Health Project. It also proposes a set of best practices for improving productivity of interpersonal communications (IPC) agents and increasing providers' skills and motivation.
- TB Case Detection via Private Pharmacies in Lao PDR
In Laos, we use a tailored incentive scheme to increase case detection among pharmacists in the private sector.
- How to Use “SuperKid”
This short film, developed by PSI/Laos with support from MMG, UNICEF, and in collaboration with the Lao Ministry of Health, is shown by a mobile video unit set up in villages.The video answers questions about child health in Laos and shows a live cooking demonstration on how to use SuperKid- a micro-nutrient powder proven to reduce anemia in children under 5.
- Using Coarsened Exact Matching to Strengthen Casual Inference for Program Evaluation: Findings From China, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam
This panel presents four applications of coarsened exact matching (CEM) used to strengthen evaluation of social marketing programs implemented by Population Services International (PSI) in Southeast Asia. As part of its strategy to improve causal inference in program evaluation, PSI research teams developed these evaluations to measure program effectiveness through cross-sectional behavioral surveys. . Reviewing examples from Vietnam, Thailand, Laos and southwestern China, the session illustrates the practical value of CEM in settings where other experimental and quasi-experimental approaches may not be possible. The Thailand, Laos and China interventions operate through models of community based outreach and service provision with transgender people and people who inject drugs whilst the Vietnam program markets specially branded clinics providing voluntary counseling and testing. The panel will highlight both the application of CEM, and how findings are being interpreted and used for HIV prevention and harm reduction programming.
- Evaluating a HIV Prevention Program With Transgender Women in Laos Using Coarsened Exact Matching
PSI/Laos reaches the transgender population in two of Laos’ largest cities with peer outreach and drop-in center program to prevent HIV. This study was designed to evaluate the impact of the program on HIV testing and consistent condom use. 417 transgender who reported penetrative anal sex with a man in the past six months were recruited using respondent driven sampling. Program exposure was defined as contact with peer outreach or drop in center services in the past 12 months. Exposed and non-exposed cases were matched on province of residence, educational attainment, and size of social network using CEM, and logistic regression was used to estimate program effects adjusting for CEM weights Program exposure (71%) was associated with greater odds of HIV testing in past 12 months (OR=8.96; 95%9CI 5.1-15.8); and STI screening (OR=15.1 ; 95%CI 6.4-35.9). No association with consistent condom use was identified.