Carol Perks from Save the Children was introduced to MiVAC by DAK, Dave and Kerry (Private Philanthropists who have been very supportive of MiVAC) – they focus on assistance to developing countries in the medical area. DAK provided Ultrasounds, Foetal Dopplers and Foetal Heart Monitors for Carol – these were taken to Ban Xai by Sandy and by Steve. An arrangement was made with Carol to come to Ban Xai – pick up the donated equipment and at the same time give advice to MiVAC regarding our involvement with Health and particularly a medical centre which was previously planned for being within the building on the model farm in Ban Xai.
Hugh and Steve met with Carol in Phonsavan and then Carol had a meeting with Dr Bounnmy- Director of Phoukood District Health Department.
Dr Bounnmy informed her that:
- There is already a Health Centre at Ban Song which is responsible for 5 villages in this area, including Ban Xai. Ban Song is close to Ban Xai and there is a tarmacked road so that villagers can travel easily to the Clinic. There is also a Village Volunteer in Ban Xai.
- The Nurse from Ban Song Health Centre (who had come to the District Hospital to collect drugs) expressed a desire to get some medical equipment.
- The Phoukood hospital expresses interest in getting Ultrasounds and Foetal Dopplers.
Carol also visited Ban Xai and advised that it would not be a good idea to build a medical clinic in Ban Xai or Hinmou Peung (however MiVAC now holds a complete set of design drawings to build a Health Centre and a list of contents required).
MiVAC was able to make decisions based on this information which was to:
- Cancel the thoughts of Medical Centres
- Source Ultrasounds and Foetal Dopplers from DAK
- Use some of the medical budget for training at the Phoukood Hospital.
It is interesting to note that Steve went 83 km to the town of Ban Song on Highway 7 travelling West where there was no Health Centre. Hugh advised that the town of Ladvieng Ngoua is also known as Ban Song and this town is closer to Phonsavan than Ban Xai and South of the Highway 7 – it does have a medical centre.
Now we thank Coralé and Bill Edwards who took up more Medical Equipment (two Ultrasounds and 2 Foetal Dopplers) – once again supplied by DAK – so that MiVAC can commence negotiations with Phoukood Hospital for the training of the operators. (Bill and Corale take over, on 10 Jan, from Hugh as the Site Supervisor at Ban Xai).
PS If you know anyone who is going to Laos and can take a case (supplied) of donated medical equipment destined for Carol Perks (as far as Vientiane) then please let Sandy know (firstname.lastname@example.org). Also know that if you go by Thai Airlines Steve can arrange 30 extra Kgms of free luggage allowance.