The British Ambassador to Laos, Mr Philip Malone visited Mahosot Hospital on Friday, to learn about cooperation between Laos and the United Kingdom, particularly in the field of medical research.
This was the first official visit to a Lao government hospital by the British Ambassador, after the recent reopening of the British Embassy in Vientiane.
The United Kingdom funded research collaboration project at Mahosot is called the Lao-Oxford- Mahosot Hospital Wellcome Trust Research Unit (LOMWRU).
Lao Ministerof Health Professor Dr EksavangVongvichit, the Director General of Mahosot Hospital Associate Professor Dr Bounthapany Bounxouei, and the Director of LOMWRU Professor Dr Paul Newton also attended the event.
"It is our great privilege to receive the British Ambassador to Laos and we welcome him to visit our Hospital and LOMWRU, which is the first example of scientific medical collaboration in Laos", said Dr Bounthapany.
He added that LOWMRU has assisted Mahosot Hospital in facilitating the diagnosis of infectious diseases both in Vientiane and other provinces and has conducted research that is guiding health policy and building technical and research capacity.
"We are very grateful for the financial and technical support of the Wellcome Trust of Great Britain and the University of Oxford through the LOMWRU," said Dr Bounthaphany.
Dr Newton said that the collaboration began in 2000 and LOMWRU has been assisting Mahosot Hospital to conduct medical research and capacity building, particularly in the field of tropical medicine and infectious diseases.
The aim is to improve the diagnosis and treatment of diseases such as malaria, scrub typhus, leptospirosis, dengue, meningitis, encephalitis, melioidosis, typhoid and beriberi.
"Since the establishment of LOMWRU, the diagnosis and treatment of illnesses in our hospital has significantly improved and continues to progress spectacularly," said Dr Rattanaphone Phetsouvanh, Director of Mahosot Microbiology Laboratory where LOMWRU is embedded.
"The research activities are very useful for our medical staff as this allows for rapid and accurate diagnosis and treatment of the patients."
The British Ambassador said that he was delighted to visit Mahosot Hospital and saw an excellent example of Lao-UK collaboration in the health sector.
"LOMWRU is doing important work for the improvement of Lao public health as well as making valuable contributions to global research into infectious diseases."
"We are very grateful for the excellent assistance of the Ministry of Health and the Lao government in this venture," he remarked.