The SFE started in 2017 a health education project in the province of Saravan with the objective of reducing poverty. A new phase of this project starts in 2021 in 10 new poor villages, 5 health centers, a district hospital and the provincial hospital. Using previously trained hospital staff as trainers, this approach allows to strengthen acquired practices and to develop a system of continuous training between the hospital and the health centers.
Targeting mother and child and adolescent health in particular, this project has a broader impact on all villagers by promoting proactive and sustainable development and addressing all commonly encountered health problems.
The province of Salavan is one of the five poorest rural provinces in Laos, whose health situation is very precarious, making it a priority for the government. A major concern is the poor hygienic conditions in the villages due to the lack of access to drinking water, the lack of toilets, and the limited treatment of domestic waste. As a result, infections are a common issue in these villages. Despite many efforts on the part of local leaders to improve the situation, certain indicators are still alarming: 43% of children under 5 years of age suffer from malnutrition due to a poorly diversified diet, the infant and maternal mortality rate is still very high due to customary practices that are harmful to the health of mothers and infants. The lack of medical knowledge of the staff of health centers and hospitals does not allow them to offer appropriate and quality care and explains the limited use of medical facilities by the village populations, who often resort primarily to traditional medicines.
This health education project integrates an axis “support to the medical system” combined with a “community development” axis, with the following objectives: