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First cancer centre opens in Vientiane

The first official radiotherapy cancer treatment centre in Laos opened on Thursday in Vientiane, aiming to provide for better cancer treatment and diagnosis in the country.

“The centre should provide for not only better quality treatment but also health education and rehabilitation for our patients, as we strive to meet international standards,” Deputy Minister of Health, Associate Professor Dr Phouthone Moungpak said at the opening.

The newly opened cancer centre, which will be known as the radiotherapy centre for the treatment of cancer at the Friendship Hospital ( Mittaphab Hospital), was first launched as an initiative in 2013 with construction completed last year.

The centre was built at a cost of over 11 million euros, under a loan from the Austrian government.

Present at the opening of the centre were Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Finance, Mr Somdy Duangdy Austrian Ambassador to Laos, Mr Enno Drofenik, Deputy Minister Phouthone along with other senior officials and invited guests.

Speaking at the ceremony, Dr Phouthone said that for a number of years, the Austrian government has played an important role in the development of various sectors in Laos including the health sector.

He said this centre comprises two nurses' and cancer experts' rooms, the radiotherapy cancer room, an examination room, a laboratory, a counseling room, the CT scan rooms and other facilities. Medical equipment has also been provided.

It is expected that the centre will be able to diagnose and treat some 40 to 50 cancer patients per day. It was noted that the cancer rate is increasing in Laos year by year and the only treatment options are in the capital Vientiane.

In previous years, the only treatment options available have been surgery and chemotherapy.

For this reason, cancer patients continue to go to hospitals in neighbouring countries to receive advice and health services, Dr Phouthone noted.

“We think that this centre can respond to public demands as per government policy because this centre will provide for the highest quality of screening, early detection, and treatments for the best medication results,” he said.

In 2016, over 1000 patients presented with abnormalities and were examined for cancer. Of this number, about 100 were diagnosed with cancer, according to the Mittaphab Hospital.

By Times Reporters
(Latest Update
January 13,

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