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A collaborative approach to COVID-19 vaccination in Laos

As the COVID-19 vaccine rollout out begins, ChildFund Laos has been working in partnership with the Ministry of Health and World Health Organisation to implement immunisation events and encourage widespread take-up of the vaccine.

Staff from ChildFund’s Vientiane office have provided voluntary support at the public clinics, which has included recording patients’ health information, checking the blood pressure of individuals prior to vaccination, and being on hand to answer questions about the vaccine.

Providing reliable health information is essential, says Touly Vilayphone, a ChildFund Laos project officer. She says people commonly want to know more about the types of vaccines available, any possible side effects, and get a better understanding of how the vaccine can protect them during outbreaks of the disease.

Piengngeun Xaysongkham, ChildFund’s senior HR and liaison officer, has also been lending a hand. She says: “Helping others at a vaccination event is not only a good thing to do, but it makes me happy to know that people in my community will be protected from the worst health impacts of the disease.”

Touly undertakes blood pressure checks at a COVID-19 vaccination event in Vientiane, Laos

In addition to ChildFund staff, youth volunteers who took part in ChildFund’s Child Participation for Resilience Project, have been eager to lend their support.

This includes 20-year-old Tawan, who says: “The country is in lockdown. Schools are closed. I have to stay at home with nothing to do while we need more frontline workers volunteers during this difficult situation. So, I decided to volunteer at a vaccination event at Mittaphab Hospital.”

Tawan believes it is essential that people who are worried about the vaccine have a chance to ask questions. “People need facts and information about the COVID-19 vaccines. So, I decided to be here as an aide for the event.”

 

Youth volunteer Tawan says: “People need facts and information about the COVID-19 vaccines.”

Tawan is also following strict prevention measures given the increased number of cases in Laos during the last month. “I wear a mask, wash my hands more often and don’t touch my eyes, nose, or mouth.

“I am already fully vaccinated. So even in a worst-case scenario where I become infected, I know that it wouldn’t be a deadly case,” explains Tawan.

In northern Laos, where ChildFund is implementing a range of child-focused development programs, additional support is being provided to rural communities.

Working in partnership with the Government of Xamneua District ChildFund Laos has provided essential medical supplies to 15 villages in Huaphanh Province, including soap, hand sanitiser and surgical masks.

Protecting people and communities must be a collaborative approach, says Touly. “I am proud to be working with partners and youth volunteers to support people coming to get vaccinated.

“Responding to COVID-19 is the responsibility of everyone, not just our healthcare workers.”

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