Due to the Corona pandemic, we have not been able to send volunteers from Switzerland to Laos since March 2020. Thanks to Regine Wehrle, a German pediatrician on site, and frequent contacts with our Laotian partners via internet, we were nevertheless able to provide targeted help.
We financed protective materials, hygiene products and medicines, which became more expensive due to the Corona pandemic. We replaced bedside clinical visits with video case presentations, awarded 14 scholarships to physicians and nurses for continuing education, and implemented three construction projects in Luang Nam Tha, Nong Het and Savannaketh.
In Laos, there were relatively few documented COVID-19 cases. Nevertheless, the country suffered greatly from the pandemic, with drugs and medical supplies becoming scarce and prices rising as a result. The closure of the borders had two effects: Wealthy Laotians could no longer travel to private hospitals in nearby Thailand, so birth rates at the Mother and Newborn Hospital in Vientiane increased. Tourists could no longer come to Laos, which had strong economic consequences.
We are glad that despite the lack of travel opportunities, we were able to continue our assistance on the ground and adapt it to the new needs. We thank all who have supported us in this.