Girl in Laos

Annual Report 2019

General Information

The Swiss Laos Hospital Project association aims to provide humanitarian, medical and financial support to hospitals, doctors and medical staff as well as patients in Laos.

The following activities were carried out in the year under review.

New Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)

Thanks to Marion Mönkhoff’s negotiating skills and persistence, we were able to sign a new MoU for the years 2019 to 2021 after a long back-and-forth with the Laotian health authorities. This provides the legal framework for all our activities in Laos and commits us to twelve specific projects and a total financial commitment of USD 888,000 over a period of three years.


Strategy workshop under the direction of Dr. Alphons Schnyder on 19 January 2019

Strategy for the next five years

Under the leadership of Dr. Alphons Schnyder, each specialist group and the Executive Board as a whole compiled a status report and set goals for the next five years. By doing so, we want to ensure that our scarce resources are used in an optimal way. The emphasis will remain on the training and continuing education of medical personnel. It is our declared aim to lead our Laotian partners into independence.

Board of Directors

The board of the Swiss Laos Hospital Project consists of Elisabeth Bandi-Ott (general practitioners), Hans Ulrich Bucher (President), Cornelia Gawenda (Finances), Jacques Gubler (KSW-Phonsavan), Marion Mönkhoff (Vice President; Neonatology), Claudia Reichmuth (Neonatology, Nursing), Martin Sauter (IT) and Pierre Villars (Gynaecology and Obstetrics). They corresponded primarily by e-mail and met for meetings on 22 January 2019 and 26 August 2019.


Fifteen new members were admitted and three resigned. On 31 December 2019, the association has 139 members, 3 of whom are honorary members (Urs Lauper, Aline Kundig and Peter Neumann) and 16 members in formation.

Missions of volunteers

67 persons from Switzerland were deployed in Laos and worked there for a total of 1286 days (including 26 persons from the KSW with a total of 613 days). In Switzerland, at least 1486 recorded hours were spent free of charge on the SLHP.

Freiwillige des Swiss Laos Hospital Projects am Ende eines Einsatzes

Our volunteers have again been working all over Laos this year and have experienced much gratitude.


HIV Prevention

In the context of the HIV prevention project financed by the Lottery Fund, a total of 4555 HIV tests were carried out in 2019 (previous year: 3,534), of which 4047 were carried out on pregnant women (previous year: 3,093). 18 (previous year: 18) of these tests were positive, 12 of them (previous year: 13) in pregnant women. The HIV-positive persons were referred to an HIV centre for free treatment. HIV-positive mothers with babies also received powdered milk free of charge, as they are not allowed to breastfeed in order to prevent transmission of the HIV virus from mother to child.

Delivery kits

This project, financed by the Lottery Fund, enables safe and clean cutting of the umbilical cord, especially for home births. In 2019, 30,000 delivery kits were produced in Laos and distributed to hospitals and health centers throughout the country.

Follow-up examination of former premature babies

In this project we accompany our premature babies (less than 35 weeks of pregnancy) up to the age of two years. We ensure that they receive all vaccinations and necessary therapies, examine their state of health, growth and development.

Eröffnungszeremonie für die neue Pädiatrie im Spital Muang Kham

Ceremonial opening of the new pediatric building at Kham District Hospital.

Construction projects

With the support of the Claus Cramer Foundation and two other foundations we were able to finance the construction of a paediatric ward in Muang Kham hospital, an emergency ward in Muang Mok, a new operating theatre for caesarean sections in Luang Nam Tha and a neonatal department in Pakse/Champassak.

Scholarships for further education and training

Our group of general practitioners awarded scholarships to three Laotian doctors and one nurse for further training of 6 months in Vientiane capital. In addition, contributions were made to English lessons and IT courses.
A doctor from Mother Newborn Hospital received a scholarship for a two-year training course in neonatology at Khon Kaen University in Thailand.

Exchange program for students

In 2019, a total of 21 Swiss medical students in their fifth year completed a one-month internship at the Mother and Newborn Hospital (previous year: 15).

Public Relations

Communication with our members and donors now takes place primarily via digital channels. This not only enables us to provide information more frequently and more quickly, but also saves printing and postage costs. In 2019, our website recorded a total of almost 5,800 visits, and we sent six e-mail newsletters to 350 subscribers each. We have also been continuously active in the social media (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn); almost 1,000 people now follow us on Facebook. In autumn 2019 we also sent a printed newsletter to 1,500 addresses (previous year 2,070). 250 copies of our traditional photo calendar 2020 were produced.

Neugeborenes in Laos

One of the many patients of our neonatology team.


Teams of nurses, doctors and medical technicians were deployed at the following locations: In Luang NamTha to put the new operating theatre and neonatal resuscitation room into operation and to plan the renovation of the remaining operating wing. In Sayabouli and Savannaketh to evaluate the new and renovated departments and in Xam Neua for teaching.

Dr. Paul Hasters spent three months at the Mother and Newborn Hospital (MNH). From there he visited the intensive care unit for children and newborns at Mahosot Hospital in Vientiane and the provincial hospitals of Champassak (Pakse) and Luang Nam Tha.

In March, we held a workshop in Vientiane for nurses and doctors from all over the country, and in parallel, for the first time, a program for medical technicians. Tim Pfaff (Pfaff Medical) was able to instruct the use of simple laboratory measuring devices for bilirubin, which were then given to the participants for distribution throughout the country.

In November, our first workshop in pediatric neurology on seizures (Prof. em. B. Schmitt) and a second workshop on respiration (Dr. F. Ulmer) took place at the MNH in Vientiane.

Gynaecology & obstetrics

The Mother and Newborn Hospital (MNH) recorded a total of 7073 (previous year 6076) births, of which 2257 (2144) were by caesarean section. 881 (814) newborns were hospitalized in the Neonatology Department.

Dr. U. Kullmer spent 6 weeks in the MNH, where he introduced a weekly perinatal conference and hygiene standards in the operating room.

General practitioners

In January, April, July and October 2019, a team of two to three family doctors was on duty in Muang Kham and Nonghet.

A year-round teaching focus was introduced for the first time, this year the complex of respiratory distress. It was divided into sub-areas such as symptoms, examination findings, differential diagnosis, possibilities of clarification and therapy. All our teams followed on from the teaching of the previous team; this way the topic was dealt with in depth over a whole year. This principle has been applied to the further training of local hospital staff as well as of health center staff, who were invited to either Nonghet Hospital or Muang Kham Hospital for two days and attended in large numbers.

Given the limited therapeutic options, it is not always easy to explain the importance of interviewing, examining and diagnosing each patient. However, by always encouraging interactive learning, the training sessions were lively and instructive for all. In addition, the local doctors presented and discussed their own patients, so that diabetes and gout, for example, were also included.

Likewise, the first patient in Xieng Khouang Province was set up for oral anticoagulation with coumarins using an INR measuring device she brought with her after her heart surgery in Vietnam.

Hospital partnership KSW-Phonsavan

Since 2010, the Cantonal Hospital Winterthur maintains an autonomous partnership with the Provincial Hospital in Phonsavan to exchange knowledge, skills and experience in various hospital activities (see separate report).

Training in hospital management

In close cooperation with the Laotian Ministry of Health, Dr. Alphons Schnyder again conducted leadership training courses in selected hospitals during his third year of assignment. To date, he has trained 450 management staff in management and leadership. They have also been prepared to take on more responsibility within the framework of the planned hospital autonomy.

Spital-Management-Workshop mit Alphons Schnyder

Executive training in hospital management under the direction of Alphons Schnyder in Vientiane capital.

Equipment and material

In March, another shipping container arrived in Laos with medical material and equipment that is no longer used in Switzerland but is still fully functional. It was unloaded by our helpers on site and the contents distributed to the various hospitals.

Our emergency teams maintained laboratory equipment in the various hospitals. In some cases they brought reagents from Switzerland, as far as they could not be purchased in Laos.

Support for individual patients

The costs for the operation of newborns with severe, treatable malformations were covered.

Thank you

Since its foundation by Urs Lauper 20 years ago, our project has grown into a substantial organization. It is supported by the many volunteers who give their expertise and time free of charge, and by the numerous sponsors who support us with smaller and larger financial contributions.


I can assure all of you that in Laos we are receiving the highest recognition from the government and the people for targeting our limited resources and making a difference.


A big thank you to everyone who supports us.

12 Mai 2020

Hans Ulrich Bucher

Prof. em. Hans Ulrich Bucher, President

All Annual Reports

Annual report 2023
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Annual report 2022
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Annual report 2021
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Annual report 2020
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Annual report 2019
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Annual report 2018
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Annual report 2017
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Annual report 2015/2016
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Annual report 2013/2014
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Annual report 2011/2012
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Annual report 2009/2010
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