September Newsletter: Record Month at Neonatal Ward

Neonatal Unit Sets Monthly Caseload Record  

   The Neonatal Unit admitted and cared for 98 infants during August, the largest monthly caseload of newborn babies since the unit opened in late 2016.

   The surge in neonatal cases caused the unit to be temporarily overcrowded. The staff moved some babies into isolated areas in the Emergency Room and Inpatient Department where they remained for a couple of days.

   Infants in the Neonatal Unit receive specialized care by doctors and nurses. The average length of stay for infants in the unit was 8.7 days in August.

   The hospital expanded the Neonatal Unit in late 2018 by renovating space in the adjacent Luang Prabang District Hospital. 

Hospital Welcomes 2 New Staff Members

   Two healthcare professionals recently joined the LFHC staff:

   – Dr. Thongden Keosou, who earned his medical degree in 2015 at the University of Health Sciences in Vientiane, said he is excited about joining the LFHC team and learning from new experiences.

   – Bounmy Ly, who completed a bachelor’s degree in social sciences in 2019 at National University in Vientiane, said he looks forward to applying his studies toward helping children and families at LFHC.

   A warm welcome to you both!

Caseload Approaches Pre-Pandemic Level

The number of children treated at LFHC continues to grow, edging the caseload to levels recorded prior to the national lockdown to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

A total of 4,465 children received medical care in July and August, an increase of 78% from the number of children treated in April and May during the height of the lockdown.

The Lao government eased travel restrictions in June. However, the country’s borders remain closed, though exceptions are made for essential travel.

Laos has had only 23 confirmed cases of COVID-19 since the first positive test of a suspected patient in March. More than 47,500 people have been tested.

One new case was identified on Sept. 10. A man returning to Laos from the International Army Games that were held in Russia tested positive for the virus and was sent to a state quarantine center.

LFHC Saves Malnourished Baby

   Malnutrition is a condition often seen in children brought to LFHC.

   Our hospital is a leader in the efforts to battle malnutrition in northern Laos. The case of an infant named Tha Done is a recent success story.

   Tha Done was diagnosed with Moderate Acute Malnutrition (MAM), which is defined in terms of a weight-for-height indicator established by the World Health Organization.

   Tha Done’s condition required hospitalization for several days until he was stabilized. During his stay, the hospital’s Nutrition Team worked closely with his family.

   The treatment and care that Tha Done received proved highly effective and he was sent home with his family and a supply of baby formula and Ready-to Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF).

LFHC Doctors Enter Residency Program

   Two LFHC doctors recently began training in the national Pediatric Residency Program in Vientiane.

   Dr. Khamthavong Xaiyavong (Mailor) and Dr. Lakiher Latongxai (Laki) began the three-year residency program in mid-August. Both have been staff physicians at LFHC since 2015.

   Doctors accepted into the Pediatric Residency Program undergo a highly competitive national selection process.

   Both LFHC doctors said they see the residency program as an opportunity to expand their professional development and eventually contribute to the improvement of medical care for the children in northern Laos.

   Congratulations to both!

Still Time to Get Involved!

   It isn’t too late to participate in Friends Without A Border’s first International Virtual Run for Children, which will be held during the weekend of October 16-18.

Unlike a mass gathering of marathon runners, a virtual run allows you to race in your own space at your own pace. Participants will run, walk or bicycle in their own neighborhoods, local parks and trails.

You can register for the event here. But if you cannot join the virtual run, it’s incredibly important that you support this event by making a donation here on our website.

The coronavirus pandemic forced the cancellation of all of our planned live fundraising events for 2020, so the virtual run will be our only live fundraiser this year.

Proceeds will benefit Lao Friends Hospital for Children, of course.