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Thailand and Laos Cooperate in Treating Children with Heart Problems

Source: Vietnam Plus

Thai and Lao doctors have been implementing a medical initiative to save children and young people who suffer from heart-related diseases.

The initiative, aptly named Saving Young’s Heart Crossing Mekong River, is a combined effort involving the Thai Red Cross, Chulalongkorn Hospital, Chulalongkorn University’s Faculty of Medicine, the Paediatric Cardiac Surgery Foundation, the Thai Embassy to Laos, Laos’ Public Health Ministry, and Mahosot Centre Hospital.

Chulalongkorn Hospital Director Dr. Chanchai Sittipunt said that the project was launched last year after the hospital’s pediatric intensive-care staff discovered that Mahosot Centre Hospital in Laos, the sole hospital in the country performing heart surgeries, was in dire need of more specialists to tackle heart diseases in children.

Under the project, young Lao patients diagnosed with heart diseases will be transferred to Thai hospitals, where they can receive complimentary medical treatment.

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In addition, Chulalongkorn Hospital and Chulalongkorn University’s School of Global Health are offering medical coaching assistance and scholarships for pediatric intensive care training.

The activities aim to enhance Laos’ ability to independently conduct pediatric heart surgeries within five years.

The 5-year initiative started in May last year with the examination of 92 cases involving young patients, aged between three months and 12 years, suffering from congenital heart disease.

According to Pirapat Mokarapong, secretary-general of the Pediatric Cardiac Surgery Foundation, 37 out of 92 patients were identified as requiring immediate surgery in Thailand.

To date, 29 children and infants have been transferred to Bangkok for operations. Two severe cases were treated at Chulalongkorn Hospital, while Kasemrad Hospital handled the remaining 27 cases.