FHI 360’s presence in Laos began in the late 1990s, when our work focused primarily on HIV prevention, care, support and treatment. At the time, FHI 360 provided technical assistance to government and nongovernmental partners on strategic information, proposal development, national integrated biological and behavioral surveys, behavioral surveillance surveys, and the provision of a comprehensive package of services for HIV prevention among female sex workers.
From 2014 to 2021, FHI 360 implemented LINKAGES (Linkages across the Continuum of HIV Services for Key Populations Affected by HIV), an intervention project focused on HIV prevention, care and treatment for men who have sex with men and for transgender women in Laos. In 2021 LINKAGES’s work transitioned to a new project: EpiC (Meeting Targets and Maintaining Epidemic Control).
In addition to addressing HIV, FHI 360 has worked to control and eliminate neglected tropical diseases and prevent potential outbreaks of zoonotic diseases in Laos. From 2010 to 2015, FHI 360 launched the End Neglected Tropical Diseases in Asia (END in Asia) project in collaboration with the Lao PDR Ministry of Health. The project supported the expansion and strengthening of activities to control and eliminate several tropical diseases that are endemic throughout the country and largely affect people made vulnerable by other diseases or living conditions. As part of this project, FHI 360 provides technical and management assistance; trains service providers; helps to improve community mobilization and communications; and strengthens planning, monitoring and evaluation systems.
Following the success of END in Asia, the work was extended through the Neglected Tropical Disease Support in Laos project, which was implemented from 2016 to 2021 with the support of Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies.
From 2009 to 2015, in partnership with the National Emerging Infectious Diseases Coordination Office in Laos, FHI 360 has supported the government of Laos in its bid to prevent and address potential outbreaks of influenza viruses and other emerging pandemic threats from zoonotic diseases.