Les médecins de Chinguetti Pakbeng
Sending of medical material to the dispensary
All the medical material we imported from Switzerland by our container was sent two days ago by boat to the team of “les Médecins de Pakbeng” who works all the year round.
We have a nice collaboration with this organization. As we often say: « It’s easier when everybody pulls in the same direction ».
Purchasing medical material
Beside their medical missions in the free health center in Pakbeng and in the villages, all the year round, “The Pakbeng doctors” are now working for a project called “For a secure birth in Laos”.
The local context in Pakbeng district where they work is the following:
First pregnancy around 15 in the villages and 18 in town.Women give birth at home and, in 85% of the cases, with all the family around, without running water and any disinfectant.Concerning the other deliveries which take place in Pakbeng hospital, there is only one midwife who has been trained for simple deliveries.
There are now surgeons, no anesthesia. The woman goes back home three hours after her delivery. The purpose of the project “For a secure birth in Laos” has different aspects, among which the training of Lao staff (nurses, doctors and midwives), information campaigns, the purchase of medical equipment for the hospital and the health center.
ASAS has chosen to buy two foetal monitoring devices as well as delivery kits aiming at improving and securing deliveries. This project will last three years. According to its financial means, ASAS wishes to go on supporting this project.
Sack a new life
Much time and patience were necessary but the day Sack was impatiently waiting for has arrived.
He is now working as a gardener and ward in a guesthouse in Luang Prabang.
ASAS has negotiated his hiring so that everything went well for him. He was very quickly and well integrated among the staff and every evening, he takes English lessons which are given to the employees by tourists.
Even if his scar is not perfect and he can’t “wear” his artificial leg every day, he can make himself useful, a wonderful victory when we know all what he has come through during his life.
News concerning Sack
It is already September. The stay in the rehabilitation center went on well although we had to adapt to the rules of Laos hospitals: in hospital the cleaning of the room must be done by the patient’s family. The family also has to provide the food and the meals for its patient. As none of Sack’s family member wanted to do the job, although they were informed of the situation, the ASAS team did it.
ASAS took benefit of this period to make plans for his reinsertion and socialization, especially for learning with books and films. We also bought clothes, gave hygiene advices and we regularly went with him into town so that he could get used to contact with others; he must learn everything from the beginning as long years of isolation leave tracks.
During the rehabilitation, Sack showed an incredible willpower and a strong motivation. He could go out of the center with his “new leg” after only three weeks. Such an achievement is rare if you know that, most of the time, 2 to 3 months are necessary to get used to such an artificial leg.
Despite this progress, there is still much to do. Presently he is, so to speak, in standby. Actually the new artificial leg needs some regular adjustments because the leg goes on evolving and the scars must be regularly controlled in order to avoid new immobilization periods. In 2 or 3 months, when everything is stabilized, a definitive prosthesis will be made.
We will keep you informed of the evolution in our next Newsletter
A new chance
Here is our neibourgh’s story, Mr. Sack whom we met at his family’s place where he was living at the back of the house, in a yard. He was always alone, was not allowed to eat with the other members of the family. We asked our friends who he was and why he was alone and left to himself.
We were told that when he was 12 he had caught leprosy which was treated too late; he had then serious sequela on his feet and fingers. When he was 16, he got injured and, as the family was poor, they couldn’t treat him.
Presently Mr. Sack is 36 and his injury on his foot worsened and he suffers from gangrene up to the middle of his tibia. He suffered more and more and in the end he asked us whether we could help him.
As we were leaving for Switzerland, we couldn’t organize an hospitalization by ourselves so we asked for the help of an association “Les médecins de Packbeng” whith which we collaborate.
A Swiss doctor, who was in Lais for a mission shortened her stay in Pakbeng and came to Luang Prabang, and, with a French friend of us who speaks perfectly Lao, she did what was necessary to transfer Mr Sack to Vientiane so that he could be amputated.
A big follow up work was made by two doctors of the Pakbeng association in Vientiane and by other persons whose generosity has not limit. After his operation and a two months’ hospitalization, ASAS welcomes Mr. Sack again in Luang Prabang in order to integrate him in a specialized center where he can be followed and where a prosthesis will be made for him.
Today he is smiling again and is looking forward to his new life; he practices exercises for his muscles and is going to receive his prosthesis in about one month. We will of course inform you about was he becomes in your future newsletter.
Forwarding by boat
After having met the managers of the association, ASAS has decided, to begin with, to forward extra-medical and various medicines witch will help the dispensary.
Transport is free because the hotel where the dispensary is located has its own boat which cruises from Pakbeng to Luang Prabang and back twice a week.
Once in Pakbeng, the material is immediately handed over to the team, whose members confirm us its reception by phone.
A network which ASAS will supply regularly, in particular thanks to the material which is gathered at our collect point.