Improving children’s health and survival is our top priority in Laos. Many years of widespread conflict and poverty have stalled health-care development, and poor infrastructure combined with a mountainous terrain present a constant barrier for children and families to access high-quality health care.
It is common for children to die from preventable conditions and treatable diseases, such as malaria, pneumonia, and diarrhea. Malnutrition is widespread. Immunization rates are low. Approximately 49 of every 1,000 children will not live to see their fifth birthday.
Friends Without A Border provides high-quality and compassionate medical care and health education to the children of Southeast Asia. We believe every child has the right to a healthy and loving life.
Friends was founded in 1996 by world renowned photographer Kenro Izu after he witnessed the suffering of Cambodia’s children during a trip to photograph the Angkor monuments. In 1999, Friends built and opened Angkor Hospital for Children (AHC) in Siem Reap, Cambodia. Since that time, AHC has treated over 1.3 million children, trained hundreds of healthcare professionals, and is considered “one of only three essential healthcare institutions” in the country as stated by a Cambodian Health Minister.
Opened with just an Outpatient Department, AHC has grown to a full service hospital that includes: Inpatient & Outpatient Departments, Low Acuity Unit, Emergency Room, Triage, Intensive Care Unit, Surgery Ward, Heart Surgery, Dental Clinic, Eye Clinic, and a Satellite Clinic in the Sot Nikum District of Cambodia.
In January of 2013, Friends and AHC celebrated a long-held goal as Izu handed a green, heart-shaped “key to the hospital” to the passionate and dedicated staff of AHC. A new, local NGO called AHC International handles the operations and management of the hospital while Friends continues to help with fundraising efforts.
On February 11th, 2015 Friends celebrated the grand opening of a new pediatric hospital in Luang Prabang, Lao PDR called Lao Friends Hospital for Children (LFHC). On opening day, the staff of LFHC treated 47 children in the Outpatient Department, and have seen an average of 55 children each day since. Currently, only the Outpatient Department at LFHC is open, but as the last of construction is completed the remaining departments will open in the subsequent months and include: Inpatient & Outpatient Departments, 24 beds, Emergency Room, Intensive Care Unit, Operation Theater, Laboratory, Pharmacy, Radiology, lecture rooms and library to teach pediatric medicine to the future leaders of the hospital, kitchen and laundry for families visiting the hospital, and a vegetable garden to teach families how to prepare nutritious meals. The hospital will also implement outreach programs to teach children and families health promotion and disease prevention practices.
Please feel free to contact us with any queries or questions you may have.