By Xayxana Leukai
March 1, 2013
Paediatricians from across the country met in Vientiane yesterday to discuss improvements to child healthcare and the treatment of paediatric diseases, aiming to achieve the UN Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of reducing the death rate of mothers and children by 2015.
President of the Lao Paediatrics Association and Director General of Setthathirath Hospital, Associate Professor Dr Khampe Phongsavath, said paediatricians play a very important role in improving the health of mothers and their children.
“Improving the skills of existing paediatricians as well as training new ones is something that should be continued and strongly encouraged,” Dr Khampe said at the opening ceremony of the 9th Conference on Lao Paediatrics.
He advised all paediatricians to refresh their skills so they can provide effective services in the years to come. Their work would not only help the government to achieve MDG 1 on eradicating extreme poverty and hunger and MDG 4 on reducing child mortality, but would also support the government’s ‘Sam Sang’ (‘Three Builds’) policy by strengthening resources in local communities.
On behalf of the Ministry of Health, the President of the University of Health Sciences, Dr Somchith Boupha, said paediatricians are important for helping all children to enjoy good health. “As you know children are the future and a valuable asset of any nation. If children grow healthily and get a good education, a country has a strong resource for national development,” she said, adding that by contrast, if children grow up unhealthily and have a poor education, this may slow the development of a country.
The government considers the reduction of child mortality to be a top priority and is putting measures in place to achieve the target set in the UN MDGs by 2015 and remove Laos from the list of least developed countries by 2020.
Director General of Education and Science Research, Associate Prof. Sing Menorath; Deputy Director General of the Curative Medicines Department, Associate Prof. Dr Bounnack Saysanasongkham; Thai representatives from the World Health Organisation and other personnel also attended the two-day meeting.