Laos: Bringing First Aid Training for UXO Injuries to All Villagers

AAR JAPAN has been holding first aid training for accidents caused by unexploded ordnance (UXO) in northern Xieng Khouang province. This year in September, two training sessions on first aid for UXO accidents were held in two villages in Phaxay district. Over 100 villagers, young and old, took part in this session.

The topics covered included what to do when an UXO is found, first aid when an accident happens and ways of transporting a victim to a medical institution. The training sessions were carefully planned so that participants are able to learn effectively through fun activities such as quizzes and skits.

September 21st, 2011- Thai, one of our local staff explains about UXO as he shows a photograph. 

The local staff of AAR JAPAN was not the instructor at these sessions, but the facilitator.  The actual instruction was given by district hospital staff and village health volunteers who had participated in our past training sessions. The Lao people who were students before, now played the role of instructors and passed on what they had learned to the villagers.

September 21st, 2011- Learning first aid through skits. A village health volunteer (left) gives instructions. A villager (center) also takes part. A district hospital staff (foreground) plays the part of the victim.

The highlight of the sessions was a skit on what to do in case of an UXO accident. The skit was performed so that it would be both informative and entertaining. The audience watched on attentively, occasionally bursting out in laughter, as the district hospital staff acted out the victim moaning in pain and our staff comically acted out the part of a villager scurrying about.
A brochure with instructions on first aid for UXO victims.

At the end of the session, all participants received a brochure summarizing pertinent points of the training. The brochure, made in Laos by AAR JAPAN, gives easy-to-understand instructions on methods of administering first aid. They were made so that the villagers would have the instructions at hand to refer to everyday. Larger poster-size versions have been distributed for display on the walls of village temples and meeting places. It is our hope that these brochures at home and in public places will help reduce the number of UXO victims.

September 21st, 2011- Yumiko YAMASHITA (left) of the Xieng Khouang office in Laos acts out making a phone call after administering first aid.
Children drawn into the skit. The dangers and safety precautions related to UXO are learnt through fun activities

Bombs that were dropped during the Vietnam War still remain. Between January and September this year, already 29 UXO accidents have occurred in Xieng Khouang. To reduce the number of UXO victims of and to minimize the effects of injuries, AAR JAPAN will continue its effort to spread correct knowledge and technology related to UXO.

*These activities are supported by your donation and the subsidy from Grant Assistance for Japanese NGO Projects by Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Yumiko YAMASHITA, AAR JAPAN Xieng Khuang office
After graduation from university, she worked as a hospital nurse. She then learned health system management at graduate school in England before joining AAR
 JAPAN. She has been working in the Xieng Khuang office in Laos since October 2010. (Born in Chiba Prefecture.)