U.S. Supports Rehabilitation Workforce in Lao PDR

VIENTIANE, LAO PDR — On April 20, 2022. U.S. Ambassador to Lao PDR Dr. Peter M. Haymond joined Vice Minister of Health Dr. Sanong Thongsana to officially launch the Continuous Professional Development Training Facility for Health Professionals at the Center for Medical Rehabilitation (CMR). The ceremony also marked the official handover of rehabilitation equipment to the CMR and Ministry of Health (MOH).

“Our health and disability assistance is a central part of the U.S.-Lao Comprehensive Partnership. The United States looks forward to continuing our support to the CMR as it works to become a center of excellence, reaching international standards,” said Ambassador Haymond. “We are proud to provide this new equipment to assist the CMR in helping many people with walking difficulties, regardless of cause, to walk again.”

Rehabilitation is a key strategy for strengthening the health system. When quality rehabilitation is available at all levels of the health system, particularly at the primary health care level, it supports the Lao population as a whole and enables all to participate in society and contribute to the economic development of the country. The CMR Training Facility, supported by USAID Okard, is a key factor in Laos for building the capacity of health professionals to deliver rehabilitation services. More than 150 doctors, nurses, and physiotherapists throughout Laos will develop their skills and become qualified to provide essential rehabilitation services primarily at the district hospitals through their studies at the Training Facility.

USAID Okard provided CMR with a ceiling hoist for gait training, allowing people with a prosthetic leg, difficulties after an accident such as a bone fracture, and those who have suffered a stroke or traumatic brain injury, to progressively improve their balance and regain their ability to walk.

USAID Okard has contributed approximately 255,000,000 LAK to establish and equip the Training Facility and for the CMR to recruit and train core trainers, and contributed an additional 342,000,000 LAK to install the ceiling hoist and tracking system.

USAID Okard, funded by USAID and implemented by World Education, Inc., improves access to quality healthcare and economic opportunities for persons with disabilities, and supports design and implementation of disabilities inclusive policies.

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