Laos Prime Minister maintains that the health care of his people has been gradually elevated, and that the average longivity rate has now increased to 61 years, up from 40 years in the 1980’s. Moreover, the national development during the past five years has moved Laos' ranking up among the poor countries of the world, from #140 of the 174 poorest countries in the year 2000 to #100 of the total number of 177 poorest countries in 2005.
Lao officials say that for the past five years, their poverty reduction program has lifted over 200,000 households above the poverty line. Nevertheless, 30% of poor people in the 72 districts throughout the country still live in abject poverty, with 40% of these having no access to sanitation and health care, while the mortality rate for children under 5 remains 82 per 1,000, and pregnancy death rate is around 420 per 100,000.
Listen to our Laos Today report for more details.