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Sengchanh Kounnavong

NIOPH, Lao PDR

Sengchanh Kounnavong holds a PhD (Medical Science in Infection Research) from the International Health Department within the Institute of Tropical Medicine, Nagasaki University Japan and a Master in Nutrition Sciences from the Human Nutrition Unit at Sydney University.  She also trained as Medical Doctor-Paediatrician and was Head of Paediatrics ward at Mittaphab Hospital for six years (1987-1994).

She was assigned also as Chief of National Health Research Coordination Office and currently is Director General of the Lao Tropical and Public health Institute (Lao TPHI -former National Institute of Public Health-NIOPH since  September 2017), within the Government of Lao’s Ministry of Health, where she has been based for the past 20 years (1997-2017).  Lao TPHI is the national focal point for health research and training activities in Lao PDR. Hence, Lao TPHI, via Sengchan’s cooperation and leadership, is a critical current and future current partner for coordination work in Lao PDR. She was assigned additional new role in leading the former Francophonie institute of tropical medicine and international health for postgraduate training in Lao PDR since September 2017.

In addition to her research work, Sengchanh is also Lecturer at the Lao University of Health Sciences, where she currently teaches and supervises post-graduate and under-graduate students under the courses: nutrition, anthropology, and research protocol. She is a member of core group working on Lao Health research management strategy up to 2020; nutrition and food security framework for Lao PDR (2016 to 2020).

She leaded research projects:

1) Study on impregnated bed net beliefs, experiences, and usage where early diagnosis and treatment exists (2002);

2) Malaria Control Program in the newly decentralization process - an example of Lao PDR, 2004);

3) Knowledge, attitudes, and practice of Brau-Lavae Community Perception of Malaria in Five Villages of Phouvong District, Attapeu, Province, Lao P.D.R.(2004);

4) Cost effectiveness analysis of insecticide bed net and long lasting bed net in 2 provinces, Lao PDR (2005) ;

5) “Knowledge Transfer & Exchange (KTE)” research project on malaria and contraception for researchers, health care providers, and policy makers;  

6) SMILING project (2012-2014),

7) Lao zinc study (2014-2017),

8) Randomized control trial aiming to test the clinical and cost-effectiveness of community-based nutrition interventions to provide evidence for national scale up (2018-2021).

In addition, her area of interest is in health systems research, in particular into how to strengthen health system research capacity by developing a long term strategy for Lao PDR and with the role of village health volunteers in contributing to Lao social capital.