For the past 17 years, the Filipino organisation -- Operation Brotherhood International (OBI) -- has been running a non-profit medical and welfare service in Laos.
For the past 17 years, the Filipino organisation -- Operation Brotherhood International (OBI) -- has been running a non-profit medical and welfare service in Laos. The OBI operates from 7 centres in Laos. The largest is in the country's capital of Vientiane.
Here, a highly-trained staff of doctors and nurses have been providing medical help -- ranging from surgical work to pre-natal care -- with the cooperation of the Royal Laotian Government.
The Filipino organisation first started in South Vietnam in 1954. It moved to Laos three years later, and since 1963 it has been providing medical services under contract with the U.S. Agency for International Development (AID).
There are 130 Filipinos presently working for Operation Brotherhood in Laos. And since 1957, they have treated more than 3 million Laotians. Since last year, there have been over 4,000 patients admitted for surgery at OBI seven centres, and close to 17,000 cases treated at its pre-natal and family welfare clinics. And at their dental clinics, nearly 22,000 Laotians have had their teeth fixed in 1972.
Operation Brotherhood also runs a training program for nurses and nurses' aides. Last year 61 second year nursing students and 18 third year students were trained at the Vientiane Hospital. In training these students, the organisation realises that the eventual task of curing the people of Laos belongs to the Laotians.
In more than a decade and a half of work in Laos and South Vietnam, Operation Brotherhood has gained universal acclaim for its volunteer medical services.