COPE together with the Government of Lao PDR’s Centre for Medical Rehabilitation held two mobile clinics in May 2017, one in Xieng Khouang Province and one in Sayabouly province. During these mobile clinics, over 300 people were screened, resulting in new referrals for prosthetic and orthotic services for over 120 people. Many more benefited from on-the-spot services provided in the field such as device repairs, physiotherapy and distribution of assistive devices including crutches and wheelchairs. COPE was delighted to welcome the US Ambassador Rena Bitter to join the USAID-funded mobile clinic in Sayabouly province. “Our support is really making a difference in these remote areas where services are not readily available,” said Ambassador Bitter.
Since the mobile clinic conducted in June 2017 in Xayabouly supported by USAID, the team in Luang Prabang have been working hard to produce all the devices ready to give to patients. In early October, COPE, CMR and Luang Prabang Provincial Rehabilitation Centre (PRC) staff conducted the follow-up visit to Xienghone to distribute the devices to patients. Xienghone District is a remote rural area in northern Xayabouly province, 2 days’ drive from Vientiane. In September 2017, the team loaded up the vehicles with all the new devices produced and set off. Provincial and district health coordinators helped us to inform the patients that we were on our way so that they could attend the clinics to receive their devices. In total, 71 devices were distributed directly in the field and 11 patients who needed more complex rehabilitation support, such as gait training to learn how to walk again, were brought back in our vehicles to the PRC to receive their device and additional support.
Since the mobile clinic in May in Xieng Khouang Province supported by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the follow up was conducted in September 2017. A total of 20 people with disabilities were referred for follow-up services at either a fixed-site rehabilitation centre or a district facility.