The “Story of Thongsy” offers a look at the amazing work being performed by the doctors, nurses and staff at the Lao Friends Hospital for Children. The video, produced by Running Reel/Adri Berger, premiered at the 16th Annual New York Gala held by Friends Without A Border.
Improving children’s health and survival is a top priority in Laos. Many years of widespread conflict and poverty have stalled health care development, and poor public infrastructure combined with high mountainous terrain present a constant barrier for children and families to access high-quality health care.
Children are the most vulnerable and affected by these challenges as the Story of Thongsy shows. It is common for children to die from preventable and treatable diseases, such as malaria, pneumonia, and diarrhea. The prevalence of malnutrition is high, and immunization rates are low. Approximately one in five children will not live to see their fifth birthday.
Lao Friends Hospital for Children opened in February 2015, with the idea to create a locally-sustainable hospital by and for the Lao people.
LFHC implemented a phased opening of treatment; with provision of care starting with the Outpatient Department. 47 children were seen on opening day, and the hospital now treats 20,000 children annually. The clinical team delivers care to an increasing number of children with dedication, smiles, and a caring, compassionate attitude.
The primary emphasis of education is with patients and their family members – providing preventative education on topics such as nutrition, vaccinations, breastfeeding support, oral health, family planning, and disease-specific information.
LFHC is the only hospital in northern Laos to offer neonatal services, providing life-saving care for newborn babies that otherwise have no access to proper healthcare for essential development. The Story of Thongsy is a film that shows the need for the work undertaken by the people working for the hospital.