In Salavan province, the SFE works in five health centres. These centres enable villagers to receive basic health care as close to their village as possible.
A health centre usually includes an vaccinaton service, follows up pregnant women until they give birth, and offers consultations for common illnesses and care for minor wounds. In most cases, it also has a small pharmacy.
Our work among health centers aims to improve the quality of care, in particular through the training of health professionals as well as the regular follow-up of patients.
Every month, a team from the SFE visits the health centres joined by a doctor and a nurse from the provincial hospital. Depending on the needs, they provide training in bedside care, monitoring young mothers and infants, and diagnosing and treating common diseases.
Together, they take up the consultation logs and review which diagnoses were made based on which clinical signs and whether the proposed treatments were appropriate. It is an excellent practical exercise to improve the reception, care, and follow-up of people.
The health centres have no medical laboratory, radiology or ultrasound service. As a result, many pregnant women cannot go to the hospital for an ultrasound scan, so the ultrasound machine comes to them! Indeed, this examination is essential to know the number of babies and their state of health, their position and that of the placenta, etc. This information makes it possible to advise mothers on the place best suited for future childbirth.
Through monthly evaluations, we support each centre in improving its storage system and overall hygiene. Following a needs assessment, we provide medical equipment, storage cabinets or medical waste bins.
In some health centres, the SFE also offers renovation work. For example, one of the centres was built by villagers and had a concrete floor, which was very dusty in the hot season, and tin roofs, which were extremely noisy when it rained. The SFE installed a proper ceiling and tiled floors. The centre is now more welcoming, and more comfortable while better meeting hygiene criteria.
In one year of these activities in the health centres, the cleanliness and quality of care have improved significantly. In addition, as health workers sometimes feel isolated and under-resourced, they are grateful for the support, more resources, training and regular visits.
The entire SFE team is grateful to be able to contribute to the continuous improvement of health services in southern Laos.