36 Laotian babies to receive life-saving surgeries in Thai hospitals

Photo courtesy of The Nation

In a heartwarming collaboration, 36 Laotian babies grappling with congenital heart defects are set to undergo free life-saving surgeries in Thai hospitals this year, thanks to a groundbreaking Thai-Lao medical cooperation scheme.

The initiative is a beacon of hope for these young patients in Laos, where limited surgical equipment poses a significant challenge.

The Thai Red Cross Society, Chulalongkorn Hospital, and the Pediatric Cardiac Surgery Foundation have joined forces with Laos’ Public Health Ministry and partner hospitals to extend a helping hand to those in dire need. Dr Somsak Pratiphannawat, director of Nong Khai Hospital, revealed yesterday, January 23, that the first baby, having undergone a successful surgery on November 22, has already returned home to Laos.

However, the second baby faced a twist in fate as his condition demanded more intricate treatment and advanced equipment. Consequently, the infant has been swiftly transferred to Chulalongkorn Hospital in Bangkok for the specialised care he requires.

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In a remarkable display of urgency, the hospital employed social media to call upon motorists along the northeastern-bound Mittraphap Road to make way for the ambulance carrying the baby to Bangkok. This collective effort ensured the timely execution of the surgery, highlighting the power of community support in dire situations. Following the procedure, the patient will be transported back to Nong Khai Hospital for rehabilitation until deemed fit to return home, Dr Somsak affirmed.

Situated in the northeastern border province, Nong Khai Hospital has taken on the crucial responsibility of screening all 37 patients enrolled in the scheme. The hospital’s role extends beyond screening, as it is committed to providing necessary treatment or facilitating referrals to more extensively equipped hospitals in Thailand, reported The Nation.

With the first success under their belt, the hospital director anticipates that the remaining patients will undergo their surgeries in various Thai hospitals throughout the year.

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Puntid Tantivangphaisal

Originally from Hong Kong, Puntid moved to Bangkok in 2020 to pursue further studies in translation. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Comparative Literature from the University of Hong Kong. Puntid spent 8 years living in Manchester, UK. Before joining The Thaiger, Puntid has been a freelance translator for 2 years. In her free time, she enjoys swimming and listening to music, as well as writing short fiction and poetry.

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