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Safer Blood For Laos

A three-dimensional ultrastructural image analysis of a T-lymphocyte (right), a platelet (center) and a red blood cell (left), using a Hitachi S-570 scanning electron microscope (SEM) equipped with a GW Backscatter.

Safer blood handling and storage are being enhanced in Laos with the help of the United States.

Safer blood handling and storage are being enhanced in Laos with the help of the United States. The U.S. Embassy and the U.S. Pacific Command Joint Blood Program Office have provided critical medical equipment and supplies to the Lao Red Cross National Blood Transfusion Center to improve blood handling and storage in civilian and military hospitals throughout Laos.

The medical and laboratory equipment was provided as part of ongoing cooperation between the U.S. Pacific Command, the Lao Red Cross, the Ministry of Health, and the Lao People's Army Medical Department.

The ceremony for the handover of the blood safety equipment and supplies took place in January at the National Blood Transfusion Center of the Lao Red Cross in Vientiane. United States Ambassador to Laos, Karen Stewart, and the U.S. Defense Attaché, Lieutenant Colonel Jamie McAden, represented the U.S. Embassy, and the President of the Lao Red Cross, Dr. Snivourast Sramany, and the Director General of the National Blood Transfusion Center, Dr. Te Thammavong represented the Lao Government.

The U.S. Pacific Command, in a partnership with the Lao Red Cross, the Ministry of Health, the Lao People's Army Medical Department, has conducted a series of successful training events and site assistance visits for civilian and military medical personnel throughout Laos, in a coordinated effort to strengthen safe blood handling and storage procedures in civilian and military hospitals.

As part of the the longstanding cooperation on blood safety, the U.S. Pacific Command has also donated critical blood types during key national events, such as the South East Asian [SEA] Games in 2009 and the recent 450th Anniversary of the Vientiane Capital.

The medical equipment provided includes blood centrifuges, blood bank refrigerators, cold storage blood transportation boxes, and other laboratory equipment and supplies to support blood safety. This equipment will be distributed to two regional military hospitals in Savannakhet [sah-VAHN-nah-ket] and Champassak Provices, as well as other civilian and military medical facilities throughout Laos.

Ambassador Stewart, in her remarks, noted that "This donation highlights the ongoing friendship and cooperation between our two governments."