March Newsletter: LFHC Celebrates Women Staff Members

Surgery Saves 5-Month-Old Baby

   Five-month-old Nouxeng Wang had been sick for five days before he was brought to LFHC. He had been vomiting after being fed and passing bloody stools.

   Doctors suspected intussusception – a condition in which one segment of bowel telescopes into another, causing an obstruction. It’s critically important to identify and treat this condition promptly. Without emergency surgery, a child can become very sick and risks losing a portion of bowel.

   In Nouxeng’s case, our doctors quickly made the diagnosis, which was confirmed with ultrasound imaging performed by the radiology team.

   The life-saving surgical procedure was performed by a surgeon from Luang Prabang Provincial Hospital and Nouxeng is now recovering nicely in the Inpatient Department and almost ready to return home with his family.

Celebrating LFHC’s Women Staff Members

   LFHC observed International Women’s Day on March 8 by celebrating all the remarkable women who work at the hospital, many in leadership positions.

This year’s theme was “Women in Leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world.”

   Since opening in 2015, LFHC has embraced objectives to promote gender equality and advance the status of women and girls. LFHC has championed those objectives through its recruitment, education opportunities and career development initiatives.

   At LFHC, women currently hold the positions of Acting Medical Director, Medical Education Director, Outreach Program Director and Director of Development and Public Relations. Moreover, the hospital’s four senior doctors and about half of all staff doctors are women. Among the nursing staff, 10 out of 15 nursing leaders are women, as are 42 of the hospital’s 64 nurses.

   As a teaching hospital, LFHC’s training and education programs create career advancement opportunities for women at the hospital and in other segments of the Lao healthcare industry.

  Improving Quality of Care

   Providing the best possible medical care for children is important to hospitals and healthcare facilities all over the world. To promote the quality of pediatric care, the World Health Organization (WHO) has developed a quality-of-care framework, standards of care for children and guidelines for evidence-based practice.

   At LFHC, the staff has been adopting WHO’s recommendations and the importance of working in a collaborative way to improve the quality of care for children. This includes changing work processes to implement standards and guidelines, sharing the lessons of common indicators and using them to measure progress. Collaboration extends outside the hospital to include district or regional health leaders and community representatives.

  Pediatric Training Enters New Phase

   The hospital’s new program to train staff doctors in pediatric medicine is about to enter a new phase.

   Junior doctors participating in the program are taking a Foundation Course exam this month. The exam for senior doctors is scheduled for April.

   Those who pass the exam will begin a new three-year training program that culminates in a Certificate of Pediatrics. The program is comparable to a pediatric residency.

   The program is financed by a generous grant from the Moving Child foundation.

  LFHC’s Multi-Disciplinary Approach to Nutrition

   The hospital has set up a new multidisciplinary nutrition team to focus on measures that should be continued and those that should be improved to promote the nutritional wellbeing of our patients.

  The nutrition staff met with doctors and nurses last month for the first time and discussed a range of topics, including efforts to promote breastfeeding and reduce the amount of formula offered to babies in the hospital. They also developed a plan to provide key nutrition training to the team.

   Malnutrition is one of the biggest health problems in Laos and a major contributor to the nation’s high infant mortality rate. Malnutrition in infants is partly caused by inadequate breastfeeding. Encouraging breastfeeding will directly contribute to better nutrition of babies and therefore have a positive impact on health outcomes in the local community.

  Caseload Update

   February was another busy month for LFHC doctors and nurses. Just over 1,100 children were brought to the Emergency Room and another 1,510 children were treated in the Outpatient Department. Forty-eight infants were admitted to the Neonatal Unit and 201 children were hospitalized during the month. The Thalassemia clinic cared for 52 patients.

International Virtual Gala: Save the Date!

   The coronavirus pandemic will once again prevent us from getting together at a New York Gala to celebrate and support Lao Friends Hospital for Children. So, this year we will try something different: our first International Virtual Gala.

Friends Without A Border will honor film star Richard Gere and the Dentons law firm and attorney Walter Van Dorn at this digital fundraiser, which will feature entertainment by Broadway star Lea Salonga.

The International Virtual Gala will be available to viewers in the U.S. and Canada on May 6 and in Asia, Australia and New Zealand on May 7.

Information about tickets and sponsorships will be forthcoming.

Please mark your calendar and save the date!