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Lao-Thai cooperation targeting better treatment for gastrointestinal patients

Oct 08. 2018
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By Vientiane Times
Asia News Network

Mahosot Hospital is cooperating with experts from Asean countries including Thailand aiming to improve treatment for patients with gastrointestinal problems.

The cooperation aims to improve treatment by developing local doctors’ skills in the use of new endoscopy equipment to respond to the increasing number of gastrointestinal problems being identified across the country.

A workshop was held at Mahosot Hospital in Vientiane on Friday and attended by health experts from Laos and Thailand and Laos CBF director, Dr Chinda Vongsaly.  The meeting was supported by CBF Pharmacy and Pentax Medical Company.

With outdated equipment not responding to the demands of patients and an increase in the number of gastrointestinal problems, doctors are looking to treat the conditions by using Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatoscopy (ERCP).

The new medical equipment is a flexible tube with an attached camera that allows a doctor to see inside the body. A doctor can also use forceps (tongs) and scissors on the endoscope to then operate or remove tissue for biopsies.

Speaking at the Lao-Thai ERCP workshop, Director General of Mahosot Hospital, Dr Phisith Phoutsavanh said “We need to cooperate with Thailand to continue to develop capacity and knowledge in technical medicine and other related fields especially as these fields continue to develop daily.”

Many patients with gastrointestinal problems suffered in the past because the capabilities for treatment in Laos were limited, he explained.

The workshop provided essential knowledge on the use of this new medical equipment and provided a good opportunity for Lao participants to share their experiences about patient’s gastrointestinal problems.

“If doctors don’t understand how to use the endoscope equipment they will have difficulty in detecting and treating gastrointestinal problems because this is new medical equipment,” he said

According to Mahosot Hospital, in 2017, about 900 people were examined using endoscopes and over 350 of them were found to be suffering from gastrointestinal problems.

In 2015, some 800 people were examined and over 300 were found to have gastrointestinal disorders, health officials said.

For several years, Mahosot Hospital has held discussions on the use of endoscopes to operate or remove tissue for biopsies in collaboration with Japan’s Nagoya University and Thailand in the eventual preparation of an endoscopy training centre in Laos.

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