Friday, July 8, 2016

Laos - Overseas medical aid program succeeds in Laos

The nation's international medical aid to Laos has come to fruition, the Korea Development Institute School of Public Policy and Management (KDI School) said Wednesday.

The KDI School held a seminar on Wednesday at Fraser Place Namdaemun in central Seoul to evaluate the results of the past five years of the official development assistance (ODA) program named Dr. Lee Jong-wook Seoul Project in Lao PDR.

According to the KDI School's evaluation report, the faculty members of the Lao University of Health Science (UHS), who were trained through the program, have improved their teaching capacity, while their students have shown higher academic achievements.

Nonetheless, the KDI School noted that it remains to be seen whether the improved academic performance of the medical school's graduates has directly led to the improvement of healthcare in Laos.

The Ministry of Health and Welfare, the Korea Foundation for International Healthcare and the Seoul National University (SNU) College of Medicine initiated the aid program in 2011 with the aim of improving the health of Laotians.

The program, named after Dr. Lee Jong-wook, the late director-general of the World Health Organization, was benchmarked on the Minnesota Plan, a seven-year U.S. assistance program that educated 226 SNU medical professors beginning in 1955 and supplied medical equipment.

Through the Dr. Lee Jong-wook Seoul Project, 10 UHS professors participate in the one-year training course at the SNU College of Medicine every year. During the training, the participants take various medical courses and are also provided with equipment for their own research and education.

Chung Hyun-chae

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