The most important milestones of the Swiss Laos Hospital Project
Construction of an emergency ward in the hospital of Muang Mok.
After long negotiations we are able to sign a new Memorandum of Understanding with the Lao health authorities. Under the leadership of Dr. Alphons Schnyder, we develop a 5 years strategy for our working groups as well as for the association as a whole and derive measures from it. With support from the Claus Cramer Foundation and two other foundations, we are able to finance the construction of an emergency ward in Muang Mok and a neonatal unit in Pakse/Champassak. A laboratory measuring device for bilirubin is distributed to all neonatal departments in the country. Nurses and doctors are trained at a workshop to ensure correct handling and, for the first time, medical technicians as well are trained to maintain the medical equipment.
Dr. med. Jacques Gubler replaces Käti Schneider in the SLHP board as the representative of the Verein Spitalpartnerschaft Phonsavan (Laos) & Kantonsspital Winterthur. The Lottery Fund finances our two projects for the sterile cutting of the umbilical cord and for HIV prevention. In the district hospital of Muang Kham, the electrical supply is upgraded and a new paediatric ward is built. Dr. Alphons Schnyder, together with the Lao Health Department, held several workshops on hospital management in May, July and October, which were well attended and evaluated. The Swiss Laos Hospital Project is certified by ZEWO.
With the passing of Prof. Bouavanh Sensathit, the director of the Mother and Newborn Hospital in Vientiane, our project loses its most important contact in Laos and a close friend in January 2017.
On January 29, Prof. Bouavanh Sensathit, director of the Mother and Newborn Hospital, dies of a brain tumor. With his passing, we lose a leader with vision and our most important contact person in Laos. His successor, Dr. Path Keungsaneth, takes up his position in October. At the Mother and Newborn Hospital in Vientiane, the neonatology department is completed. In Luang Namtha, a new delivery ward with a neonatal unit is built and taken into operation in only three months. Our program for a one-month internship for students of human medicine from Switzerland at the Mother and Newborn Hospital in Vientiane is officially approved by the Medical Faculty of the University of Zurich.
At the annual general meeting of May 31, 2016, an amendment to the bylaws is approved, which allows the board to be expanded to a maximum of nine people, thus spreading the work over more shoulders. Cornelia Gawenda, Martin Sauter, Käti Schneider and Claudia Reichmuth are newly elected to the board, while Dr. Benjamin Stutz, who has established the group of general practitioners at SLHP, resigns.
The new Mother and Newborn Hospital in Vientiane shortly before its opening
Change in office: Dr Urs Lauper (left) and his successor, Dr Hans-Ulrich Bucher
The renewal of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Laotian authorities and the Swiss Laos Hospital Project for a three-year period ensures that our work in Laos will continue until the end of 2018. The MOU is signed on May 11, 2015, in Vientiane by Dr. med. Urs Lauper and Prof. Dr. med. Bouavanh. At the annual general assembly on June 16, 2015, Dr Urs Lauper announces his resignation as the president of the Swiss Laos Hospital Project. His office is taken over by Prof. Dr. med. Hans-Ulrich Bucher, former head of neonatology at the University Hospital of Zurich. Urs Lauper is appointed honorary president. On June 29, 2015, the new Mother and Newborn Hospital in Nongphaya (a suburb of the Vientiane Capital) becomes operational. The hospital, co-financed by the SLHP with 215,000 US Dollars, replaces the old Mother and Child Hospital in the city centre, which had long since reached its capacity limits.
Another mission of two medical technicians in Vientiane, Sayabouli and Luang Prabang, to train the local technicians during two weeks and to repair as many devices as possible. Another container with more than seven tons of medical equipment (laboratory equipment, pulse oximeters, syringe pumps, ultrasound equipment, heat lamps, warming beds, infusomats etc.) with a value as new of well over 1 million US Dollars is shipped to Laos in 2014. Neoanatology nursing mission for further education and training of staff in Luang Nam Tha, Pakse and Vientiane. Visit to Luang Nam Tha, where the neonatology department is now completed and in operation. Distribution and instruction of the handling of the delivery kit in two more provinces (Udomxay and Luang Nam Tha). Work in multiple delivery wards. Visit to a primary school in the very poor Sangthong District. We provide funding for the school and the water supply for about 60 students. Our working group of general practitioners performs several missions in the Kham District Hospital and evaluates another hospital in the remote town Nong Het near the Vietnamese border. Two-day ultrasound workshop at the Mother and Child Hospital in Vientiane.
In Luang Nam Tha the contracts for the neonatology annex are signed. The construction work is started immediately. Reordering of the delivery kit. Tour in additional provinces for the promotion, instruction and distribution of the delivery kit. Two-week stay of two medical technicians in Laos to teach the local technicians and to repair as much equipment as possible. Replacement of the drinking water system in the hospital in Phonsavan. Construction of toilets for schools in two villages. Shipment of a container of medical equipment with a value as new of more than 1 million US Dollar from Switzerland to Laos (isolettes and open units, laboratory equipment, pulse oximeters, syringe pumps, ultrasound equipment, heat lamps, warming beds, infusomats, etc.) The nursing system in Vientiane’s neonatology department is changed from purely functional nursing to mixed relational and functional nursing. In addition, with our support, the 24-hour nurse service is divided into early and late shift. Inauguration of the renovated buildings of the neonatology departments in Pakse and Savannaketh. Every two months, trainings in the field of general medicine are provided at the district hospital in Muang Kham by a group of general practitioners from Zurich, Switzerland, who spend two weeks on site. Advanced training of gynaecologists, neonatologists and nursing staff in the Mother and Child Hospital by Swiss doctors (ultrasound, surgical activities, bedside teaching and hygiene).
In the first half of 2012, the training and further education of Lao doctors, nurses and students is the focus of our activities. Two gynaecologists from Zurich (January) and two gynaecologists from southern Germany (February) are present in Vientiane and Phonsavan. They do mainly practical work with up to 35 participants. Ultrasound examination, operative gynaecology and management of high-risk pregnancies were the main topics. In March, three neonatology physicians from Zurich and two pediatric nurses give a workshop on the care of premature and newborn babies as well as practical instructions. Again, more than 35 people from all major hospitals and from various provinces attended. The instruction and distribution of the delivery kit takes place mainly in the provinces of Xieng Khuang and Vientiane, as the northern provinces are difficult to access during the rainy season.
Second joint training course in neonatology on oxygen therapy, CPAP, hygiene and heat management, neonatal jaundice and phototherapy, introduction of a laboratory device for determining bilirubin and a centrifuge in all 8 participating hospitals. Joint implementation with Eastmeetswest for doctors and nurses from a total of 8 hospitals where a neonatology department is being set up.
Shipment of two containers of medical equipment with a value as new of over 1 million US Dollar from Switzerland to Laos (isolettes and open units, laboratory equipment, cardiovascular monitors, pulse oximeters, syringe pumps, ultrasound equipment, birthing beds, microscopes).
Renovation of the neonatology departments in Sam Neua, Luang Prabang, and Sayabouli.
Further training in general medicine at the district hospital in Muang Kham by family doctors from Zurich.
Further training of two gynaecologists / obstetricians at the University Hospital Zurich (1 month).
Promotional tour for the delivery kit in several provinces (announcement and instruction).
Signing of the contract for a hospital partnership between the Xieng Khouang Province Hospital in Phonsavan and the Kantonsspital Winterthur KSW.
Charity concert in favour of the Swiss Laos Hospital Project at Tonhalle Zurich on March 22, 2010
Handover of the newly renovated and extended delivery room including two maternity rooms in the Mother and Child Hospital in Vientiane. Handover of a new drinking water system for three villages in Muang Kham district and a newly built toilet facility with clean sewage disposal in two villages (March 2010). Handover of material donations worth more than 1 million US dollars from Switzerland to various hospitals in Vientiane and in the provinces of Xieng Khuang and Houaphan (April 2010). Successful charity concert in the sold-out Tonhalle Zurich with almost 1,500 visitors: a production by Michiko Tsuda and the Ochster21 under the direction of Daniel Schweizer (March 22, 2010).
The new maternity ward in the district hospital of Muang Kham
Start of regular missions of general practitioners from Zurich in Laos (Dr. med. Benjamin Stutz, Dr. med. Elisabeth Bandi-Ott). Their aim is to work with local doctors and nursing staff to optimise the basic medical care of the population through improved diagnosis and therapy and to provide further medical training for staff through continuous teaching. Inauguration of a well and toilet facilities for the students in Keudom (February 2009). Renovation and extension of the pediatric emergency ward at the Mother and Child Hospital in Vientiane (February 2009). Inauguration of the maternity building in Muang Kham (March 11, 2009).
Dr. Urs Lauper, MD, President of the Swiss Laos Hospital Project, in the «Rundschau» programme of Swiss national television
Opening of the renovated and enlarged neonatology department at the Mother and Child Hospital in Vientiane. Several visits to hospitals in the northern regions of Laos with training of doctors and midwives. Visit of Prof. Roland Zimmermann and his wife for inspection and monitoring of the project. At the end of October 2008, the ground-breaking ceremony for the construction of the new maternity ward in the district hospital in Muang Kham takes place. 3-week assignment of Dr. med. Robert Lüchinger from Affoltern am Albis, Switzerland, as surgeon in all three hospitals. 4-week evaluation in the district hospital of Muang Kham by Dr. Benjamin Stutz MD and his wife M. M. Maggi with regard to a regular deployment of family doctors from Zurich (March 2008). Filming by Swiss national television for a report on the Swiss Laos Hospital Project in the programme «Rundschau».
Reception at Xam Tai District Hospital
Trip to the north-eastern province of Hua Phan, where the Swiss Laos Hospital Project will supply two hospitals with material and train staff in the future.
New patient rooms in the district hospital of Muang Kahm
Opening of the patients building financed by the Swiss Laos Hospital Project in the district hospital of Muang Kham. Visit to the Lao Mongolian Friendship Hospital in Phonsavan. Delivery of an ultrasound machine. Installation of the first Internet access in this province on the two computers sponsored by the Swiss Laos Hospital Project. Inspection of the hospital and instruction of the staff by the midwife Marie Louise Rubin (Schaffhausen Hospital) and the neonatology nurse Claudia Reichmuth (Zollikerberg Hospital) during three days. Contacts with a group at the Ruppichteroth Community Primary School (Germany), which is also committed to improving medical care in Muang Kham.
Handover of 2 tons of donated material from Switzerland (warming beds, isolettes, operating table, etc.) Reorganisation and support of the paediatric/neonatology department of the Mother and Child Hospital in Vientiane by Dr. med. Marion Mönkhoff, chief physician of the neonatology department of the Zollikerberg Hospital, Switzerland. Donation of materials from the Neonatology Department of the University Hospital Zurich, the Zollikerberg Hospital and the Children’s Hospital Zurich worth over 150,000 Swiss francs. 6-week assignment of the neonatology nurse Claudia Reichmuth as a teaching nurse in the Mother and Child Hospital in Vientiane.
Construction of an urgently needed toilet and shower facility at the Mother and Child Hospital in Vientiane. Teaching assignment of Dr. med. Marion Mönkhoff in the neonatology department. Establishment of an e-learning room with internet access at the medical faculty of the University of Vientiane.
Successful donation campaign for an anaesthesia equipment with intensive care monitoring. Procurement of a gynaecological examination chair with colposcope. Ultrasonic unit for a hospital in Luang Prabang. Reception at the Minister of Health.
Advanced training for improved antenatal care. Support for the required renovation of the delivery room. Successful establishment of contact with the medical faculty. Introduction of correct navel care for newborns with Triple dye. Introduction of English lessons during the lunch break.
Workshop at the Mother and Child Hospital in Vientiane on the prevention of preterm birth and screening strategies for cancer in women. Practical courses in tropical dermatological medicine. Start of systematic training in gynaecological obstetric ultrasound. Midwifery training by midwives.
Foundation of the Swiss Laos Hospital Project association. Successful fundraising campaign for the purchase of an ultrasound machine and an operating table at the Mother and Child Hospital in Vientiane. Workshop at Mahosot Hospital in Vientiane on tropical mycoses. Workshop at the Mother and Child Hospital in Vientiane on hypertensive pregnancy diseases.
Two-week workshop on general dermatology and prevention of sexually transmitted diseases