Lao Friends Hospital for Children (LFHC), located on the campus of Luang Prabang Provincial Hospital (LPPH), opened its own Operating Theater (OT) on July 26, 2016. Working with the Lao Ministry of Health and the LPPH, the Operating Theater will provide a range of surgical procedures varying in levels of intricacy at no cost to the child’s family.
Lao Friends Hospital for Children opened in February 2015 and has provided free treatment to over 20,000 patients from across Northern Laos. LFHC is funded by Friends Without A Border, a non-profit organization based in the U.S. and Japan, whose mission is to provide high-quality and compassionate health care to children in Southeast Asia.
The opening ceremony of the OT was attended by representatives of the Luang Prabang Provincial Hospital, local supporters of the hospital and LFHC staff. LFHC Executive Director, Dr. Simon Young, spoke about the progress that the hospital has made since its inception, as well as the time and effort put by staff to train and prepare for the OT’s opening.
The Director of Luang Prabang Provincial Hospital Dr. Buanchan highlighted the progress LFHC has made and the quality of its newly opened OT. She also expressed her deep gratitude for the work LFHC has done in providing care to the children of Luang Prabang and her excitement about what the future the hospital holds. Dr. Phanomsay, LPPH Deputy Director, closed the ceremony by congratulating LFHC. Dr. Phanomsay, a General Surgeon, has worked closely with LFHC since its opening, and was in charge of the first surgery procedure carried out at the OT later on the day.
The first surgical patient at the OT was a 10-month-old boy named Kita Pongduangchan. Kita had visited LFHC twice before for his Hernia problem. When the Hernia symptom came back for the third time, the decision was made to operate, and he was admitted on July 25 in preparation for his surgery. The Pongduangchan family greatly appreciated the care provided to Kita. Like for many families in Luang Prabang province, making multiple trips to the hospital is an immense burden, and they look forward to Kita’s full recovery after this procedure.
The father of another patient, who received surgery on the opening day, commented “LFHC provides great treatment and they inform the patients and families about the treatment, symptoms and procedures. I am glad that there are experienced expat doctors who work together with Lao doctors.”
Lao Friends Hospital for Children is committed to building the capacity of local doctors and nurses as part of its long-term strategy. Management of the hospital will be gradually handed-over to local doctors and nurses, with a goal of full integration with LPPH in 2025.