Skip to main content

Mobile health clinic saves lives

In remote communities of northern Laos, it’s unusual for a mother to give birth with assistance from a midwife, but Jam, 18, did.

18 year old Jam who recently recieved a vaccination from Plan International Laos' mobile clinic team
18 year old Jam who recently recieved a vaccination from Plan International Laos' mobile clinic team

In Jam’s community, there have only been a handful of cases where women have given birth at the Konsod Health Centre in the last 2 years. In fact, going to the health centre to deliver her baby was not in Jam’s original plans either.

I spent two days in labour trying to deliver my baby at home, but I couldn’t make it

Jam had recently returned home from Thailand after working on a pig farm there for a few years where she met her husband. Late last year, after Jam got pregnant, they decided to return home for 7 months and stay with her husband’s family in Pha Oudom District.

Challenges for women

As with many other women in her village—even during pregnancy, life continues as usual—Jam tirelessly worked with her husband to plant rice in the steep, mountainous field and fetched water from a deep, slippery valley stream every day.

Often, many women in remote communities, like Jam, don’t go to the health clinic because it requires traveling a great distance over challenging conditions, not to mention a lack of transportation. Most people in remote communities rely heavily on traditional medicines and practices for remedies when they are sick or giving birth. In Jam’s case, she never met with a doctor throughout her entire pregnancy until she went to the clinic to give birth.

I’d like to say thank you to the Mobile Clinic team. The health staff saved our lives

Jam explained, “My mother gave birth at home, my mother-in-law gave birth at home and all of the other women in my community also did that. It is very common to do so. I spent 2 days in labor trying to deliver my baby at home, but I couldn’t do it. First, my mother-in-law and my husband tried to help me deliver the baby, but it seemed impossible. Consequently, a village chief asked us to call the health staff at Konsod Health Centre.”

Result

Once Jam called the health center, a midwife rushed to her aid and helped her get the immediate assistance she needed to deliver her baby safely and in good health.

“I’d like to say thank you to the Mobile Clinic team. Because of them we know who to contact and where to go when we are not well. The health staff saved our lives,” said Jam.

In collaboration with the Pha Oudom District Health office and Konsod Health Centre, Plan International Laos continues to conduct Mobile Clinic activities to help deliver health messages and health services to indigenous and isolated communities which face extreme difficulty in accessing quality health services. 

Learn more about Plan International Laos