Lao children receive CHD screening, treatment by Chinese medical team
Published: Jun 22, 2023 12:05 PM
Members of a Chinese medical team carry out congenital heart disease (CHD) screening at a primary school in Luang Prabang, Laos on June 17, 2023. (Photo by Kaikeo Saiyasane/Xinhua)

Members of a Chinese medical team carry out congenital heart disease (CHD) screening at a primary school in Luang Prabang, Laos on June 17, 2023. (Photo by Kaikeo Saiyasane/Xinhua)

A five-day congenital heart disease (CHD) screening and treatment program has been carried out by a Chinese medical team in Laos, while children with surgical indications will receive free treatment.

The humanitarian aid program, namely "the Laos-China Children CHD Screening and Treatment" themed "Belt and Road, connecting the people's hearts" is launched by China Charity Federation and southwestern China's Yunnan Province, which borders Laos in its south.

Speaking at an official opening ceremony in Lao capital Vientiane on Tuesday, Director General of Mahosot Hospital Souxath Vongphachanh said that the team of 13 Chinese medical experts from Fuwai Yunnan Cardiovascular Hospital (FYCH), together with medical staff from Mahosot hospital in Vientiane, started its five-day mission in northern Laos since June 17.

On this occasion, Souxath expressed gratitude to China for helping Laos build the modern hospital, providing advanced medical equipment, and holding training courses to improve medical standards in the country.

By Tuesday afternoon, 432 Lao children received the screening. The Chinese medical team took 13 patients to Mahosot Hospital for free re-examined treatment in the newly-arrived FYCH mobile Interventional Operation Module.

A mother of one of the patients from Bolikhamxay province in central Laos, named Somphone Sengsulichanh, told Xinhua that her child had a breathing problem since he was four months old.

"Because we live in the countryside, getting a chance for treatment means a lot to me. And I certainly trust in Chinese medical experts," said Somphone.

Sivilay Vannavong, a mother of a six-year-old patient, living in Vientiane told Xinhua that her daughter had been diagnosed with CHD since she was born.

"This is the first time for my daughter to have surgery. I really hope that she will be safe," She expressed gratitude to the Chinese medical team for providing her daughter a chance to live like a normal child.

Chandavone Soukkaseum, a medical expert in the pediatric department of Mahosot Hospital, told Xinhua that the medical team used the Coronary Artery Angiography technique for the surgery, which is a procedure that uses a special dye (contrast material) and X-rays to see how blood flows through a heart.

This is a very helpful technique, and most people feel fine a day or so after having the procedure, she added.

Khamsoun Houngduangchanh, principal of Aphai primary school in northern Laos' Luang Prabang province, some 220 km north of Vientiane, told Xinhua that he feels happy for all students to have the chance of screening.

"Most families here can't afford the high cost of screening and treatment, which means the program is a great opportunity for all students to have a chance for a check-up," said the principal.

Fuwai Yunnan Cardiovascular Hospital is a first-class hospital specializing in cardiovascular diseases. Under the guidance of the Belt and Road Initiative, the hospital has liaisons with Laos, Myanmar, Nepal, and Cambodia, and has carried out some field visits and academic exchange activities since 2017.