Luxembourg Cooperation through its Lao-Luxembourg Health support program (LAO/027) is continually supporting the Lao PDR in its efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19.
Infection prevention and control (IPC) is vital in minimizing the harm caused by the spread of infection. In this regard, the LAO/027 project, in close cooperation with the National Centre of Laboratory and Epidemiology (NCLE), has been providing guidance and training to enhance cleaning practices in health facilities, as well as COVID-19 nasopharyngeal specimen collection trainings for frontline health workers.
Aimed at preventing the spread of COVID-19, the trainings and guidance have been delivered to 68 health workers from the three central provinces of Vientiane (VTE), Bolikhamxay (BLX) and Khammouane (KMN), for a total amount of LAK 51,044,000 (5,050 EUR).
COVID-19 sample taking training, Vientiane Province (June 16, 2020)
The main objective of the training courses was to better prepare the provincial and district hospital staff in taking samples to identify individuals carrying the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
Upon completion of the training, the hospital staff (mainly laboratory technicians and frontline nurses) should be able to safely collect nasopharyngeal swab specimens from individuals with suggestive symptoms, known to have been exposed or to have the coronavirus, for testing purposes. Furthermore, the participants have learned to safely package and transport the samples to a reference laboratory following international safety procedures and guidelines.
Use of PPE, practical training, Bolikhamxay Province (June, 2020)
More specifically, the training consisted of half a day theory, focusing on:
- self-protection during patient contact (the proper use of N95 masks, the use, donning and doffing of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), the safety principles of laboratory biohazard);
- the proper technique for collecting COVID-19 specimens by using the nasal pharyngeal swab technique;
- the proper transfer of the sample collection to the central laboratory;
- disinfection methods; and
- clinical waste management.
The training also consisted of half a day of practical training, focusing on:
- practical exercises and real sample taking using the nasopharyngeal swab technique;
- the use of PPE by strictly following the safety steps and guidelines.
COVID-19 Sample Taking Training, Vientiane Province (June 16, 2020)
During the practical session, the participants had the opportunity to practice the nasopharyngeal swab technique, sample packing and sample transportation to the NCLE. Moreover, the health staff were trained on the use of PPE, cleaning and the disinfection of premises.
The training sessions were held:
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- In VTE Province: 20 participants (the training was divided into 2 batches of 10 people consisting of 6 staff from the Provincial Hospital, 14 staff from 11 district hospitals); training organised on 15-16 June (batch 1) and 17-18 June (batch 2) at the Vientiane Provincial Hospital.
- In BLX Province: 15 participants (12 lab staff from six district hospitals, 2 lab staff from BLX Provincial Hospital and 1 lab staff from the Provincial Health Department); training organised on 24-25 June 2020.
- In KMN Province: 33 participants (the training was divided into 3 batches consisting of 3 lab technicians from KMN provincial hospital, 10 lab technicians from 10 districts, 2 lab technicians from the military hospital, 18 lab technicians from KMN community hospitals); training organised on 1st of July (batch 1 with NCLE), on 7-8 July (batch 2) and 9-10 July (batch 3).