Tag: luang prabang

Lao Friends Hospital for Children Celebrates its Second Anniversary

Since opening its doors in 2015, Lao Friends Hospital for Children (LFHC) has treated over 25,000 patients from different areas of Northern Laos. On January 25th, the hospital welcomed over 80 guests to celebrate its second anniversary including Friends Without A Border’s Board members, supporters from the US and Europe, representatives from partner organizations, Lao ministry representatives and children from the local international preschool. There was much to celebrate this year with the opening of the neonatal unit, operating theater and the growing education program for our medical staff!

We began the anniversary with remarks from Dr. Simon Young (LFHC Executive Director), Kenro Izu (Founder and Honorary President), and representatives from Lao P.D.R.’s Ministry of Health and the Luang Prabang Provincial Hospital, all celebrating the success and progress of LFHC and the partnership we have built with one another. One of our speakers, Dr. Amphone, Director of the Luang Prabang Provincial Health Department, gave an encouraging speech highlighting the value of our mission stating that “all children have the right to be healthy. We must look after our children’s health because they are our nation’s future!”

“I will never forget the first day I met Kenro Izu”, Dr. Amphone said. “We talked about his idea of building and managing a project called Lao Friends Hospital for Children. That moment, I immediately knew that Lao children were going to receive a wonderful blessing of having access to world-class medical treatment.” Dr. Amphone shared his memories of LFHC’s Grand Opening, and highlighted the incredible progress made in these two years by the hospital and all its staff.

After the speeches the event was a carnival! We had a world-class juggling performance, which both children and adults enjoyed. Our child life therapy team set up play stations of games for children to become familiar with child-friendly medical equipment. Our nutritionist conducted a workshop for patient families on how to cook a simple nutritious porridge at home and all had a taste of the delicious dish. It was a day filled with laughter and smiles.

Friends Without A Border Opens a Children’s Hospital in Lao PDR

Friends Without A Border opened a new pediatric hospital during a Grand Opening ceremony in Luang Prabang, Lao PDR. Lao Friends Hospital for Children (LFHC) will be the first full-service pediatric hospital outside of the country’s capital and, when it opens, will provide free care to all children.

LFHC is a project by Friends Without A Border (Friends), a not-for-profit organization based in New York whose mission is to provide high-quality and compassionate health care to children in Southeast Asia. Friends’ first children’s hospital, Angkor Hospital for Children (AHC), opened in 1999 in Cambodia and has since treated over 1.3 million children, trained hundreds of local doctors and nurses, and provided medical outreach and education to communities all over the country.

Friends’ founder Kenro Izu started the organization after witnessing the tragic death of young girl in a Cambodian health care facility. “The little girl was the same age as my daughter at the time. I just remember being so shocked something like that could happen. There she was, in a hospital with doctors and nurses nearby, and yet she did not receive treatment because the girl’s father couldn’t afford to pay two dollars for her care.”

After opening, word about AHC quickly spread. Today, AHC treats an average of 450 patients a day, is a nationally trusted pediatric teaching hospital, and a model in the region for sustainable high-quality care.

In Lao PDR, pediatric health care is an urgent concern. Children suffer from treatable illnesses such as diarrhea, pneumonia, and malaria, as well as from injuries sustained by unexploded ordinances which are leftover from conflicts more than 30 years ago, yet still blanket many parts of the country.

The new hospital in Laos will adopt the same model of holistic care used at AHC, with a focus on treatment, education, and prevention. “When we opened our first hospital, we quickly realized the importance of addressing the education and prevention aspects. We wanted to help create a healthy community, not just provide Band-Aids.” Izu said.

LFHC’s Executive Director, Dr. Jonathan Spector, says, “We are building a hospital to where any of us would feel perfectly comfortable bringing our own children. We will deliver safe, high-quality care with respect and empathy for our patients and their families.”

Recently, Izu and Friends were recognized for their work by the World of Children Award. Considered the “Nobel Prize for Child Advocates”, the World of Children Award named Izu the Health Honoree.