Nurse Vieng Xaiyasin from Mahosot Hospital had an opportunity to attend a one-month training about speech therapy supported by the World Education Laos, USAID-funded CMR-TEAM project. The training, held in Khon Khaen Univeristy (KKU), Thailand, has been invaluable to her skills development, and since her return she has been able to implement her new skills and knowledge in her work.
One of the main added values of World Education’s TEAM project is to increase synergies and co-ordination in the disability and rehabilitation sector in Laos. World Education aims to link and develop connections between TEAM sub-recipients’ work and projects for the mutual benefit of the partners and the sector as a whole. In Vieng’s case, she was able to advise Catholic Relief Services (CRS), also one of the TEAM project’s sub-recipients, after CRS supported eight people to undergo cleft palate surgeries in Mahosot Hospital. She used her knowledge and skills and some of the materials she had designed after the CMR-KKU speech therapy training to help the CRS cleft lip and palate suregery patients improve their speech.
Ms. Vieng pointed out that, “The children need to practice speaking more after the surgery. It is quite challenging, because most of the clients return to their home town in rural provinces after the surgery, so it is difficult for them to improve their speech. However, I encourage them to keep in touch with the nurses by phone, and if they have a chance to return to Vientiane, we can provide them with continued suggestions and monitoring. For now, we tried our best to give the clients useful information before and during the surgery.”
Since the training, Vieng has been actively working in the Mahosot Hospital to assist and advise patients, especially those with speech problems. She has received refresher training and follow up monitoring by the lecturers from Thailand, and continues to use them as sources of inspiration and knowledge when she has a difficult case or needs some advice and support.