Category: Uncategorized

LFHC Treats Child with Type 1 Diabetes

A little girl named Tor was brought to LFHC recently and diagnosed with onset Type I diabetes. This is not a condition that LFHC doctors we see very often and is extremely complicated to manage.

In Type 1 diabetes, the child’s body does not produce insulin. The reason this occurs in not fully understood. The disease is fatal for children afflicted with Type 1 diabetes who have no access to insulin.

The diagnosis can be overwhelming at first for the child and family. The parents of a young child, such as Tor, must learn how to give injections, count carbohydrates and monitor blood-sugar levels.

The LFHC staff has stepped up to provide this new level of care. Soulee, the hospital’s junior nutritionist, has been teaching Tor and her family about the disease and how to plan her meals.

In this picture, Soulee is using a set of laminated cards to show Tor how to plan her meals.

With the help of insulin therapy and other treatments, Tor’s condition can be managed and she  can live a long, healthy life.

Laos has one of the lowest rates of diabetes in Asia, with 4 percent of the population afflicted with the disease, according to the International Diabetes Federation. However, as many as half the cases of diabetes worldwide go undiagnosed.

An estimated 1.1 million children worldwide have been diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, which was formerly referred to as juvenile diabetes.

December Newsletter

UPCOMING EVENTS

20th Annual Friends of Friends Photography Auction
The popular Friends Photo Auction is back! More than 100 prints will be auctioned on Wednesday, Dec. 12, at The Highline Loft in Manhattan. If you cannot attend, you can bid on the prints now via Artsy atwww.Artsy.net/fwab.

 Click here for more information and tickets.

 

VOLUNTEERS WANTED!
Physicians and Nurses

LFHC has a pressing need for nurses and physicians. The hospital is seeking pediatric, neonatal and operating room nurses.
If you know someone who might be interested in volunteering, please refer them to our website for more information.

Preventing Neonatal Tetanus

   Airnoy Khamxaiy was born prematurely at home with no health care professional present. His family cut his umbilical cord with bamboo.

The neonatal staff at LFHC determined that their tiny patient showed signs of infection, but was otherwise stable. They administered intravenous antibiotics and immunized him to prevent neonatal tetanus from developing as a result of his umbilical cord being cut with bamboo.

Neonatal tetanus is particularly common in rural areas where most deliveries occur at home without adequate sterile procedures, according to the World Health Organization. Most infants who get the disease do not survive.

Read more here.

Reducing the Risk of Airborne Infection

   Thanks to a generous donation from the Women International Group (WIG) of Laos, LFHC has taken measures to reduce the risk of nosocomial (acquired in the hospital) infections.

The grant enabled the hospital to install a new ventilation system in the Inpatient Department and both isolation rooms of the Emergency Department.

The Inpatient Department is usually filled to capacity, leaving little physical space between individuals. Sufficient ventilation is critically needed, given the high rates of typical childhood respiratory infections among our patients and the ever-present risk of more severe respiratory infections such as tuberculosis and pandemic influenza.

Read more here.

LFHC Welcomes New Director of Nursing

  Kate Corrigan, whose nursing career includes service in the U.S., Haiti and Ecuador, recently started working at LFHC as the hospital’s Director of Nursing.

Kate focused on pediatric intensive care while working at several children’s hospitals in the U.S., including eight years at the Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C.

A native of Seattle, she earned her degree in nursing in Ohio at the Franciscan University of Steubenville. After graduation, she spent a year in Ecuador, helping the Catholic Medical Mission Board develop a small, same-day surgical center in Quito.

Kate also holds a masters degree in global health from The George Washington University.

In 2012, she served as chief nursing officer at a trauma hospital in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and four years later supported the disaster relief efforts in that Caribbean nation in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew.

Read more here.

Another Caseload Record

   According to the most recent data available, LFHC’s doctors and nurses treated 2,200 children as outpatients in October — setting a new caseload record for a single month in that department.

 

Hospital Welcomes New Nurse Educator

   LFHC recently welcomed Lisa Altmann as the hospital’s new Nurse Educator.

A native Australian, Lisa brings a wealth of knowledge and international experience to the position, having worked as a pediatric nurse in more than 15 countries. She has worked twice as a nursing volunteer at LFHC.

Lisa received her credentials as a Registered Nurse in 2007 and since that time has worked as a pediatric nurse. She also has completed postgraduate studies in pediatric nursing, tropical nursing and public health.

Read more here.

Friendly Boutique

   Renovations have been completed and the Friends Gallery is now open for business! Located in downtown Luang Prabang, the boutique is where one finds the best collection of treasures from Luang Prabang and Siem Reap — the locations of the two hospitals built by Friends Without A Border.

Sales help finance the free medical treatment provide by Lao Friends Hospital for Children.

 

Happy Holidays!

   The Board of Directors and staff of Friends Without A Border and Lao Friends Hospital for Children would like to wish everyone a healthy, happy holiday season. We would also like to extend our heartfelt thanks for your support during the year.

As readers of our monthly newsletter, you know how much the hospital has grown during 2018. And you’ve no doubt read about some of the children whose lives have been saved thanks to your generosity.

In this holiday season of giving, we ask that you consider making a gift that makes a difference, a gift that transverses borders, a gift that saves lives.

Donations may be made here on our website.

The Friends Holiday Cards may be ordered here.

LFHC Welcomes New Nurse Educator

LFHC recently welcomed Lisa Altmann as the hospital’s new Nurse Educator.

Lisa brings a wealth of knowledge and international experience to the position, having worked as a pediatric nurse in more than 15 countries. She has worked twice as a nursing volunteer at LFHC.

Lisa received her credentials as a Registered Nurse in 2007 and since that time has worked as a pediatric nurse. She also has completed postgraduate studies in pediatric nursing, tropical nursing and public health.

After spending 3½ years at an Australian tertiary pediatric intensive care unit, she broadened her pediatric nursing experience internationally by serving missions with Médecins Sans Frontiéres (MSF) in Afghanistan and Yemen, where she was involved in educating and leading nurses in pediatric and neonatal care.

Lisa has also volunteered with Open Heart International (OHI) and Novick Cardiac Alliance (NCA), which aim to provide sustainable pediatric cardiac care and education in developing countries.

As a pediatric cardiac volunteer, she worked more than five times at Angkor Hospital for Children in Cambodia (founded by Friends Without A Border). It was there that she heard of LFHC and subsequently volunteered in Lao twice during 2016. Her experiences both at AHC and LFHC inspired her to apply for the position of LFHC Nurse Educator.

Lisa says she is excited to work with the Lao staff and support LFHC’s ongoing capacity building as well as the hospital’s mission to provide compassionate pediatric and neonatal specialty care in northern Lao.

Reducing the Risk of Airborne Infection

Thanks to a generous donation from the Women International Group (WIG) of Laos, LFHC has taken measures to reduce the risk of nosocomial (acquired in the hospital) infections.

The grant enabled the hospital to install a new ventilation system in the Inpatient Department and both isolation rooms of the Emergency Department.

The Inpatient Department is usually filled to capacity, leaving little physical space between individuals. Sufficient ventilation is critically needed, given the high rates of typical childhood respiratory infections among our patients and the ever-present risk of more severe respiratory infections such as tuberculosis and pandemic influenza.

Until now, patients and staff had to endure the hot, humid conditions in the ward. The new system allows cooler, less humid air to circulate, which makes for a safer, more comfortable environment. It also aids the healing process.

Needless to say, the system greatly improves the working conditions for the staff, who often work long shifts.

The system will renew the air six times per hour, which meets guidelines for patient care areas in hospitals. The air exchange rate in the isolation rooms of the ER is nine times per hour, which allows for the safe care of contagious patients.

Preventing Neonatal Tetanus

Airnoy Khamxaiy was born prematurely at home with no health care professional present.

His family cut his umbilical cord with bamboo and upon seeing that the infant was so small — weighing less than four pounds – took him to the local health care center. The staff at the center realized that the infant needed intensive care, so they referred the family to Lao Friends Hospital for Children.

The neonatal staff at LFHC determined that Airnoy Khamxaiy showed signs of infection, but was otherwise stable. They administered intravenous antibiotics to their tiny patient and immunized him to prevent neonatal tetanus from developing as a result of his umbilical cord being cut with bamboo.

Neonatal tetanus is particularly common in rural areas where most deliveries occur at home without adequate sterile procedures, according to the World Health Organization. Most infants who get the disease die.

The treatment Airnoy Khamxaiy received at LFHC successfully warded off neonatal tetanus. He still required support for his feeding and his young mother needed guidance from the staff to learn how to properly care for him.

The outstanding care given to Airnoy Khamxaiy has helped him gain weight and strength. He has been transferred into the new mothers and babies room, Sage’s Room, at the Neonatal Unit. In this space, he shares a bed with his mother, which allows them to bond. It also provides his mother the opportunity to independently care for him with support and indirect supervision from the neonatal nursing staff.

LFHC Welcomes New Director of Nursing

Kate Corrigan, whose nursing career includes service in the U.S., Haiti and Ecuador, recently started working at LFHC as the hospital’s Director of Nursing.

Kate focused on pediatric intensive care while working at several children’s hospitals in the U.S., including eight years at the Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C.

A native of Seattle, she earned her degree in nursing in Ohio at the Franciscan University of Steubenville. After graduation, she spent a year in Ecuador, helping the Catholic Medical Mission Board develop a small, same-day surgical center in Quito.

Kate also holds a master’s degree in global health with a focus on program design, monitoring and evaluation from The George Washington University.

In 2012, she began working for Project Medishare, an American-based NGO in Haiti, where she served as chief nursing officer at Hospital Bernard Mevs, a 45-bed trauma hospital in Port au Prince. While there, she assisted in the development of the hospital’s intensive care and trauma programs.

In 2016, Kate supported disaster relief efforts in Haiti during the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew. She also acted as a consultant for a women’s health care program that targeted women’s cancers, specifically offering treatment and palliative care for women with breast and cervical cancer.

An interesting factoid about Kate: She danced competitively as an Irish step dancer until she was 20.

November Newsletter

UPCOMING EVENTS

Friends Without A Border Boston Event
Friends Board of Directors Member Dr. Jonathan Spector and his wife Marci Spector will host an event on Nov. 29 at the Harvard Faculty Club in Cambridge, Mass.

20th Annual Friends of Friends Photography Auction
The popular Friends Photo Auction is back! More than 100 prints wil be auctioned on Wednesday, Dec. 12, at The Highline Loft in Manhattan. If you cannot attend, you can start to bid on the prints two weeks before the event via Artsy.

 Click here for more information and tickets.

 

VOLUNTEERS WANTED!
Physicians and Nurses

LFHC has a pressing need for nurses and physicians. The hospital is seeking pediatric, neonatal and operating room nurses.
If you know someone who might be interested in volunteering, please refer them to our website for more information.

Expanded Neonatal Unit Opens with Royal Flourish

   LFHC’s expanded Neonatal Unit opened on Oct. 20 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by Her Royal Highness Princess Beatrice of York.

The princess, a granddaughter of Queen Elizabeth II, toured the unit and spoke with several of the doctors and nurses who care for the infants there.

The new Neonatal Unit (pictured above) now occupies what had been the children’s ward of the adjacent Luang Prabang Provincial Hospital. The expansion triples the former unit’s bed-space and provides additional room to better serve the parents of these infants

Read more here.

Read about the newly expanded unit here.

LFHC Battling Malnutrition with Therapeutic Food Program

   Recognizing the high incidence of malnutrition in Lao PDR, administrators at LFHC are initiating a malnutrition care program that they hope will dramatically reduce the need to hospitalize children for long periods to treat the condition.

LFHC doctors and nutritionists have begun to treat malnourished children with eeZeePaste, a ready-to-eat therapeutic food that has been endorsed by UNICEF. The product contains a mixture of peanuts, milk powder, oil and vitamins – everything a child needs to recover from malnutrition.

Read more here.

Boy Treated for Serious Bone Infection

   Aiy Thongsy was brought to Lao Friends Hospital for Children with a condition that doctors diagnosed as Osteomyelitis of his right leg. The condition, which is an infection of the bone, left the 10-year-old boy unable to walk.

A surgical team performed an external fixation for his leg to keep his bone in line to grow properly. Aiy then began a treatment regimen of antibiotics to fight the infection. His doctors used a series of X-rays to monitor his progress.

It took some time for Aiy to become accustomed to the external fixation, which he would need for several months. He still cannot walk, but he moves around the hospital in a wheelchair with the help of his father.

While he recovers at the LFHC, the hospital’s nutrition team has been addressing his malnutrition to ensure that he continues to improve.

Read more here.

Lao Gala Gratitude

   Thanks to everyone who made the Lao Friends Second Annual Gala Dinner a huge success. The fundraiser was held on October 19 in Luang Prabang.

Honorees for Best Friends of Friends Award were Henrik Juel Andersen, managing director of the Lao Brewery Company, and Dr. Somchittana Soulalay, senior pediatrician and assistant medical education director at LFHC.

Her Royal Highness Princess Beatrice of York attended the gala and addressed the attendees.

More photos may be seen here.

Running for the Children

   This year’s Run for the Children Luang Prabang Half Marathon attracted throngs of runners from around the world, including a member of Britain’s Royal Family.

Her Royal Majesty Princess Beatrice of York donned her running shoes for the race. The princess is no stranger to long-distance running. She was the first royal to complete the London Marathon in 2010.

Proceeds from the race benefit Lao Friends Hospital for Children.

Photos of the event may be seen here.

Race results may be seen here.

Tokyo Makes a Difference

   Friends Without A Border’s 3rd Annual Tokyo Gala, Making A Difference, was deemed wonderful success, having raised more than ¥16.8 million (nearly $150,000 U.S.) on October 12.

A special thanks to the event committee members for organizing such an incredible event!

A grateful Friends Founder Kenro Izu noted that the proceeds from the event are equivalent to the cost of providing free medical care to more than 1,500 children. He added that the event also exceeded its Neonates Fund-A-Lifeline goal by raising ¥5.8 million ($51,870 U.S.), which would cover the hospitalization costs of 167 babies.

 Read more here.

Hong Kong Magic

   Friends Without A Border is extremely grateful to the supporters who made the Second Annual Hong Kong Gala a wonderful success.

The event raised more than $65,000. Thei theme of the gala was “The Magic of Caring” and the event featured prestidigitation by a strolling magician.

The event was held on Oct. 25 at the Renaissance Hong Kong Harbour View Hotel.

 Photos of the gala may be seen here.

GoFundMe Campaign Still Needs Your Help

   We’ve attained 30.1 percent of the goal in our GoFundMe campaign to raise money to purchase medicine for Lao Friends Hospital for Children. This warms our collective heart. Many thanks, donors!

However, we would like to push forward toward our goal. Please help. If you cannot make a contribution (or have already made a donation), please spread the word. Tell your family and friends. Post a link to our GoFundMe campaign on your Facebook page and your Instagram page. Tweet about it.

Help Friends on Giving Tuesday

   We are looking for a few Friends to help us on Gving Tuesday by creating fundraising pages on their social media sites for Friends Without A Border. Creating such a page on Facebook or CrowdRise is actually quite easy.

As you know, Giving Tuesday, the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving (here in the U.S.) is an international day of charitable giving.

For additional information, please send an email to our manager of communications, Gary Kane, at gary@fwab.org.

Holiday Shopping? Here’s a Gift That Saves Lives

 

We’re guessing that you haven’t finished your holiday shopping yet. Haven’t even begun?

Consider sending your family, friends and work colleagues a holiday gift that tells them you’ve made a donation in their name fo Friends Without A Border.

Truly a life-saving gift!

Please click on this link to learn more about this offer.

 

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Hong Kong Magic

Friends Without A Border is extremely grateful to our supporters who made the Second Annual Hong Kong Gala a wonderful success.

The theme of the gala was “The Magic of Caring” and the event featured prestidigitation by a strolling magician.

The event was held on Oct. 25 at the Renaissance Hong Kong Harbour View Hotel.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Expanded: LFHC’s New Neonatal Unit

After months of renovations, a newly expanded Neonatal Unit is now providing compassionate care to LFHC’s tiniest patients.

The unit, located in the adjacent Luang Prabang Provincial Hospital, can accommodate 25 neonatal beds. When LFHC opened its neonatal ward in late 2016, there was space for only 6-8 beds.

The main room of the new unit features bed space for as many as 20 babies, as well as two resuscitation beds designed for the stabilization of new arrivals. The room also includes an area for preparing medications and milk, a space for washing babies, a desk for doctors and nurses and storage space.

An adjacent room is designated as a bonding area for mothers and their babies. There are three beds at this location for mothers to sleep with their babies after the infants are medically stable. The space is also where babies will learn to breastfeed in preparation for discharge from the hospital.

The new unit also has a room for the exclusive use of mothers – a place where they can express milk, receive counseling, or simply rest.

Three rooms in the new unit are designated for staff use as office space, a rest area and a classroom area. One of these rooms will be equipped with computers and teaching resources.

The dramatic increase in the number of newborn infants needing neonatal care prompted hospital administrators to initiate the expansion project. Exacerbating the problem was the fact that many of the newborns brought to the unit were in dire need of intensive care and would not have survived without the treatment provided at LFHC.

The provincial hospital closed its children’s ward and offered that space to LFHC for the expanded Neonatal Unit. The arrangement further enhances the cooperative relationship between the two hospitals.

Running with Royalty

The 2018 Run for the Children Luang Prabang Half Marathon attracted throngs of runners from around the world, including a member of Britain’s Royal Family.

Her Royal Highness Princess Beatrice of York donned her running shoes for the race and attended the Second Annual Luang Prabang Gala the next day.

Proceeds from the race benefit Lao Friends Hospital for Children.

Princess Beatrice (center)