December 30, 2014

International Doctors Provide Free Surgery for Burn Victims

Vientiane Times, January 23, 2014

The Interplast Australia and New Zealand medical team will conduct a free consultation clinic at Mahosot Hospital on February 24 and perform subsequent surgeries from February 25 until March 7.

During their two-week visit, Dr. James Savundra and Dr. Philip Slattery will lead the seven-strong medical team to work with over 30 local doctors and nurses from Mahosot Hospital on plastic and reconstructive surgery.
The team – which includes anesthetists Dr. David Vyse and Dr. Christopher Lowry along with nurses Ms. Samantha Jervios, Ms. Gillian Bathgate and Ms. Shannon Muir – will also train local staff in burns management and treatment.

Head of Mahosot Hospital's Plastic Surgery and Orthopedic Ward, Dr. Keutmy Khansoulivong, said all people suffering from burns are invited to receive consultation and treatment during the medical teams visit.

“This programme does not only provide free surgery for sufferers, but also provides free meals, accommodation and transportation for the patient and a caretaker,” Dr. Keutmy said.

According to a statement from the Australian Embassy in Laos, Interplast's long-term objectives ar e to improve the quality of life of people living with disability and increase their access to local health systems; as well as contributing to the development of sustainable health systems and the capacity building of health professionals.

Interplast was established to improve the quality of life of people in developing countries in the Asia Pacific region who are disabled as a result of congenital or acquired medical conditions.

Interplast commenced work in Laos in 1995 in cooperation with the Lao Ministry of Health, initially focusing on cleft lip and palate surgery and medical training. Since 1996, the organization has visited Laos 20 times to train local healthcare workers in the techniques of cleft lip and palate repair, and conducted over 1,000 surgeries.

The training conducted has resulted in the establishment of the Laos Cleft Team at Mahosot Hospital, Vientiane. The team, with support from Interplast, conducts annual cleft lip and palate outreach activities in rural Laos.

The upcoming annual Interplast visit to Vientiane will focus on burns management and treatment, where Interplast will work closely with Lao surgeons, anaesthetists and allied health workers to improve access to appropriate management of burn injuries for Lao patients.

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