Completion of the SISEA project in Lao PDR

The closing meeting of the SISEA project took place on 27 October 2011 at Setthatirath Hospital in Vientiane.


In addition to National Center for Laboratory and Epidemiology (NCLE) and Hospital Staff involved in the project, representatives from WHO, US-CDC, Institut Pasteur in Laos and French Development Agency (AFD), the sponsor of the project, were also in attendance.


Dr. Phengta Vongphrachanh, Director of NCLE, thanked SISEA, AFD and Institut Pasteur for this very important investment and effort to improve capacity at NCLE and the hospitals involved. A significant acknowledgment of the impact of the SISEA project came from the head of the WHO Country Office, Dr. Reiko Tsuyuoka, who said this project contributed greatly in building surveillance and laboratory capacity at NCLE thanks to the financial investment but, more importantly, for seconding long-term Technical Assistants to NCLE (Drs Juliet Bryant and Anne-Charlotte Sentilhes).


Dr Reiko added that the SISEA project played a vital role in NCLE being accredited by WHO as the "National Influenza Reference Center", clearly one of the most important long-term deliverables of the project. She also lauded the training component of SISEA both in Laos and the region and these views were shared by US-CDC


Both WHO and USCDC have decided to continue most of the activities initiated by SISEA, as they truly believe the program successfully contributed to reinforcing surveillance capacity in country.