The government of Australia has donated hemodialysis machines valued at USD 250,000 to improve the treatment of kidney disease patients in Laos.
Five dialysis machines will support thousands of patients, ensuring better quality treatment in the provincial hospitals of Bokeo, Xayaboury, Bolikhamxay, and Sekong provinces, according to the World Health Organization.
The machines were handed over on Wednesday to Minister of Health, Dr. Bounfeng Phoummalaysith by the Australian Embassy’s First Secretary Vanessa Hegarty and WHO Representative Dr. Ying-Ru Lo at the Ministry of Health in Vientiane.
The machines will benefit over 5,000 people suffering from kidney disease in the four provinces each year, and they will also allow patients with Covid-19 infection to be treated separately.
“A strong health system means better services, a better quality of care, and better outcomes for our patients. Any and all progress towards this means lives saved and health protected,” said the Minister of Health.
He expressed his appreciation to the Australian government for the donation to the provincial hospitals as the machines will improve the treatment significantly.
“While this support originated in response to Covid-19, we are delighted that it will also build the sector’s long-term capacity to provide dialysis services to people in need, particularly in the provinces, and provide them with life-sustaining treatment,” said Vanessa Hegarty, First Secretary of the Australian Embassy.
She said that the Australian government is committed to a long-lasting friendship with Lao, across Covid-19 recovery, routine immunization, and many other areas.
A number of 68,000 rapid Covid-19 test kits, and medication for the treatment of Covid-19, were also distributed to central hospitals on the same day, adding more donations of four dialysis machines to Khammouane, Salavanh, and Champasack provinces in 2022.
“This generous donation will also ensure that highly vulnerable people with kidney disease can be better assisted, and the health system is strengthened for the future,” said WHO Representative Dr. Ying-Ru Lo
“The Australian Government has been a generous partner throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, addressing urgent and longer-term needs, and we greatly appreciate their ongoing support,” she noted.
This donation of the machines has formed as a part of nearly USD 2 million of support from the Australian Government to WHO in Laos in addressing Covid-19 prevention, treatment and vaccination, and other health issues, across the country.