Children in Laos

Annual Report 2022



The purpose of the Swiss Laos Hospital Project is to provide humanitarian, medical and financial support to hospitals, doctors and medical staff as well as patients in Laos.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, no volunteers from Switzerland were able to travel to Laos in the first half of 2022. Only Gabriele Grossenbacher, who lives in Vientiane, was able to maintain direct contacts with fellows, hospitals and government representatives. In addition, the Laotian-German architect Vone served us well by monitoring the ongoing construction projects on site.

Further and advanced training of Lao health personnel by experts from Switzerland was continuing through video conferencing.

In addition to construction projects, the SLHP provided financial support primarily for the procurement of medicines and daily necessities that were in short supply due to the pandemic. In this way, we helped to ensure that the hospitals were able to fulfill their function even under the difficult conditions.

As of June 2022, volunteers from Switzerland were finally able to travel to Vientiane again and resume their activities, which had been suspended for more than two years.

Eine Gruppe Freiwilliger am Flughafen

After a pandemic-related interruption of more than two years, volunteers can fly again to our partner hospitals.

Memorandum of Understanding

The MoU signed with the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2019 expired at the end of 2021. Therefore, an renewal was negotiated in several video conferences, initially until the end of 2022 and then until the end of 2023. In this agreement we commit ourselves to continue the 11 activities that were already agreed upon earlier and to start a new mental health project.


Board of Directors

The Board of Directors consists of Elisabeth Bandi-Ott (GPs), Hans Ulrich Bucher (President), Cornelia Gawenda (Finance), Jacques Gubler (KSW-Phonsavan), Marion Mönkhoff (Vice President; Neonatology), Claudia Reichmuth (Neonatology, Nursing) and Martin Sauter (IT).

It met on 1/25/2022 and 5/19/2021 for a video meeting and on 10/26/2022 for a face-to-face meeting. Numerous video conferences were held in smaller groups for this purpose.


During the year 2022 there were 11 resignations, of which 7 due to decease, and 8 new members. On the 31st December 2022 the association had 140 members, including 3 honorary members (Urs Lauper, Aline Kundig and Peter Neumann) and 11 members in education.

Annual meeting

The regular annual meeting was held as a presence event with simultaneous video transmission on 22nd June 2022 in the Community Center Riesbach (see minutes). After the event, a Thai buffet was offered. Thus, the social contacts, which had been limited due to the pandemic, could be cultivated again.


Our most important communication channel is the website It recorded a total of 7,971 visits in 2022 (previous year 7,770). 10 percent of these were due to free ads from the Google Ad Grants program (previous year 20 percent). 3.5 percent of visitors were from Laos, 39 percent were English-speaking. In addition, we report on current events via Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. We sent four email newsletters to 450 recipients and a printed newsletter to 893 addresses in June 2022.

The traditional photo calendar 2023 was produced and distributed in an edition of 150 copies.

Working groups

Bedside Teaching in einem laotischen Spital durch eine Schweizer Hebamme

Teaching hospital staff on small and large patients is one of our most important activities in Laos.


A total of 6,973 (previous year: 8,061) births were recorded at the Mother Newborn Hospital (MNH), of which 2,271 (2,419) were by Caesarean section.

Dr. U. Kullmer resumed the project to consolidate perinatal medicine and hygiene standards in December 2022 at Mother-Newborn Hospital.

Urs Lauper celebrated his birthday at Mothern Newborn Hospital with a joyful and colorful party.

Marie-Louise Rubin and Franca Rüegger were on mission at Champasak Hospital in Pakse from November 3 to 23, 2022. They received a warm welcome, were able to give advice on how to improve routine procedures, instructed on emergencies in obstetrics and their management, as well as complications during birth and primary resuscitation of the newborn.

HIV Prevention

Despite the Corona pandemic, 12’399 HIV tests were performed in 2022 (previous year: 9’040). Of these, 69 were positive (previous year 48). The HIV-positive persons were referred to an HIV center for free treatment. HIV-positive mothers with infants were also given powdered milk free of charge, as they are not allowed to breastfeed, in order to prevent the transmission of HIV to their child.

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Delivery Kits

Flacons of Triple Dye for navel disinfection continued to be produced at Pharmacy 3 in Vientiane. Distribution to the periphery resumed in November 2022 after an interruption due to the pandemic.

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The neonatal network, which includes hospitals in eight provinces, was maintained through online contacts during the pandemic. Medical and organizational problems were discussed.

The neonatology department at MNH received financial support to procure vitamins, various other medications, parenteral nutrition and blood gases. This made it possible to maintain regular operations.

After the opening of the borders, three neonatological teams flew to Laos in November 2022. Claudia Reichmuth and Emanuela Erzinger worked in Savannakhet, Laila Forster and Teresa Loucano in Pakse and Karin Götz and Ingrid Rohrbach in Luang Namtha. In all hospitals, the nursing staff was trained and suggestions for urgent purchases were received.

Marion Mönkhoff negotiated with Laotian partners about further support, visited several construction projects and instructed doctors and nurses at the bedside.

The program for follow-up care of former premature infants was continued at a low level after the departure of Regine Wehrle.
An atlas on child development by Thomas Baumann was translated and printed in English and will now be disseminated in Laos and other developing countries.

General practitioners

In October 2022, a group consisting of Peter Ackle, Andreas Graf and Michael Steinbrecher traveled to Muang Kham and Nonghet again. They were very warmly welcomed, expressing a great interest in continuing the cooperation. The group resumed the suspended instruction of important topics, had to realize that some knowledge had been lost in the two years and several instruments were no longer in use because of missing reagents, probes, and spare parts.

In Nonghet, the new operating room was found to be functioning properly. Teaching was only possible to a limited extent because the staff found hardly any time for it.

In the year under review, seven doctors and one laboratory technician from Muang Kham received a scholarship for further training in Vientiane.


The Cantonal Hospital in Winterthur KSW maintains an independent partnership with the provincial hospital in Phonsavan since 2010 to exchange knowledge, skills and experience in various hospital activities. The end of travel restrictions allowed 29 working weeks on site in Laos by 10 different association members from September onwards. For information about the activities in 2022 we refer to the website

Hospital Management

Alphons Schnyder, together with the Minister of Health, Dr. Bounfeng, was able to conduct a video conference on «Good Governance» on April 26, 2022. The hospital directors of the Mother and Newborn Hospital, the Mittaphab Hospital, the Mahosot Hospital and the Children’s Hospital attended this conference.

In October 2022, Alphons Schnyder conducted a management course with hospital directors and those in charge of finance and human resources at five central hospitals and a few provincial hospitals. The main topic of this course was greater management autonomy, with a commitment to draw up an action plan for the attention of the MOH and a follow-up event in January 2023.

On December 5, the Minister of Health stopped in Zurich on a flight to Geneva and held a meeting with several SLHP representatives.

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Teilnehmende der Mental Health Conference im Mahosoth Hospital in Vientiane

A conference on mental health at Mahosoth Hospital in Vientiane in October 2022 was attended by psychiatrists from all over Laos.


Seven Zoom trainings on adult and adolescent psychiatry topics for medical professionals in Laos were conducted from May to the end of September 2022.

Between 10/10/2022 and 10/30/2022 Toni Berthel, Emilio Bolla, Maurizia Franscini, Dagmar Pauli and Rafael Traber visited Laos. They participated in a mental health conference with 160 participants from all over the country and in teaching visits at Mahosot Hospital.

At the Xiengkouang Provincial Hospital, they gave lectures and discussed inpatients and outpatients. Through a home visit in a distant village, they were able to get a first-hand impression of living and housing conditions in Laos.

They also established contacts with representatives of the Ministry of Health and WHO, Children’s Hospital, Autism Centre and Lao Mental Health Support.

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Construction projects

Luang Namtha

The renovation of two operating rooms and ancillary rooms at the provincial hospital was completed. During the inspection, some deficiencies were found that still need to be corrected.

Muang Kham

In a school building, the sanitary facilities and the defective roof were renewed with a contribution from the Rotary Club.


The new operating room, which was already put into operation at the end of 2021, has proven its worth.


The departments for gynecology/obstetrics, neonatology and pediatrics, which were built with the financial support of the Claus Cramer Foundation and another foundation, were officially inaugurated.

Spitalgebäude in Savannaketh von aussen

At Savannaketh Provincial Hospital, an entire wing was excavated to create a maternity ward upstairs and a neonatal and pediatric ward downstairs. The building before the reconstruction…

Bauarbeiten im Spital Savannaketh

… during the reconstruction…

Sanierter Innenbereich im Spital Savannaketh

… and close to completion.


Ceremonial opening of the entire hospital wing on November 18, 2022

Equipment and materials


A powerful washing machine was purchased for the Champasak Provincial Hospital in Pakse.

A container with 8 tons of medical equipment and materials arrived at Mother Newborn Hospital in February 2022. From there, the material was distributed to various hospitals.

Two further containers with a total of 9 tons of materials were sent on their journey to Vientiane via Rotterdam – Suez Canal – Bangkok at the end of December 2022.

Because of the rising freight costs and since some devices had suffered during storage (empty rechargeable batteries), we are considering to purchase them locally in the future.

In the provincial hospital Champasak (Pakse) the purchase of a large washing machine and a dryer has been funded as well as an operating table and a sterilizer in the provincial hospital Luang Namtha.

Further and advanced training


In order to at least partially compensate for the lack of courses and on-site visits, more scholarships were awarded for advanced training. The English courses, which were suspended due to the Corona pandemic, could be resumed in October 2022 with a new school.  

Exchange program for students

In June 2022, for the first time after a long period of interruption, a student from Switzerland was able to complete an internship in Vientiane. Two more followed in September and November.

Corona pandemic emergency aid

Laos was hit late by the Corona pandemic. We provided expertise to combat the pandemic and money to purchase protective materials such as face masks and aprons, but also soap and detergent.


Even during the Corona pandemic, we recieved continued financial support from our sponsors and free advice from many experts in Switzerland.

I would like to express my sincere appreciation for this on behalf of the Laotian government and people.


20th January 2023

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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