Persistent & Determination from within the Heart!
- Joe Liew Y L -

29 July, 2015

LAOS Free Medical Mission Expedition!

Expedition : LAOS Free Medical Mission Expedition
Date           : 18th to 20th July 2015
Venue        : Nam Sang School, Thanasa Village, SangThong District, Vientiane Capital, Laos.

Laos - The Country
Laos, officially the Lao People's Democratic Republic (LPDR); is a landlocked country in the southeast asia, bordered by Burma and the People's Republic of China to the northwest, Vietnam to the east, Cambodia to the South, and Thailand to the west. 

Laos land mass is 236,800 km2 / 91,428.991 sq mi and with an estimated population of 6.8 million in July 2014, in a multi-ethnic country with the politically and culturally dominant Lao People making up approximately 60% of the population and mostly in the lowlands.  Mon -Khmer groups, the Hmong and other indigenous hill tribes accounting for the rest of the 40% of the population, live in the foothills and mountains.  LAO is the official language in Laos.

The Expedition
A 3-days of Free Medical Mission Expedition for the residents of SanThong District, at Nam Sang School, Thanasa Village, SanThong District, Vientiane Capital, LAOS.  This expedition was brought together as A TEAM in a joint-collaborative effort with the Embassy of Malaysia, Embassy of Singapore and Vientiane International Hospital Company; with 200 multinational volunteers from Laos, Australia, Singapore and Malaysia, which comprised of Medical Doctors (Dentists, Optometrists General Practitioners, O&G, TCM), Pharmacists, Nurses, Medical Personals, Medical Students, Volunteers and Translators. 

This "Free Medical Medical Mission Expedition" aims to encourage close people-to-people interactions between Malaysia, Singapore and Laos to promote friendship.  The utmost objective is to provide free medical treatment & medications to 4,000 villagers from the surrounding 30 villages, as well as to provide preventive educations to the villagers on the issue of dengue and proper personal hygiene issue, the expedition team's optometrists had given out a total of 2,500 pairs of glasses to villagers to help with their eye-sight.

The Expedition Team (Joined-Team)
For the 1st time, the Malaysia & Singapore medical teams joined hands together side-by-side in organizing a "Free Medical Mission Expedition" to provide free medical consultations, educations & medication abroad to the locals in Laos.  In the name of HUMANITARIAN & LOVE, with all our heart and with compassion; we did it as a team, a united team only exist in this brotherhood of humanitarian & with love.

Our Malaysia Team
Our Malaysia Expedition Team of 52 volunteers comprised of GP (General Practitioner), O&G Doctor, Pediatrician, Surgeon, Medical Students from IMU and volunteers.  Our itinerary were departing for Vientiane, Laos on the 16th-July-2015 and returning to Kuala Lumpur on the 23rd-July-2015, while the 3 days "Free Medical Mission Expedition" was on 18th to 20th-July-2015.

We departed for Vientiane, Laos on 16th-July-2015 (2 days earlier) together with the medications needed in this expedition, to prepare ourselves with the immense work-loads soon to be overwhelming us.

After the expedition has concluded, we went for a Vientiane City Tour as a post-expedition reward to all volunteers in this team.  Time to walk the city and understand Laos from the past into its current day through walking the streets of Vientiane.

Expedition Picturelogue
Pictures speak for itself, as I enjoy doing street photography whenever I travels.  Let me also share photos taken from various owners (such as Angie Low, Janice Chan, Jkai Chan & Yap Chen Bun-Reena),  all of whom I met in this expedition that have a big and compassionated heart for humanity.

Let's Roll!

Touching-Down onVientiane,  Laos Soil

Dr. Loh's giving a talk to all volunteers to be prepare for the unexpected outcome that all of us will be face with, while Dr. Albert preparing for his talk on Dengue (Identifying, Treatment & Preventive measures)

A small village behind the gas station that we had a toilet stop

Toilet stop enroute to the expedition site due to unforseen
diarhea circumstances that hit 40% of our Malaysian volunteers

Arrived to the expedition site @ Nam Sang School,
Thanasa Village, SangThong District

Entrance to Nam Sang School

Military guards for our 3 days Medical Expedition

Rise & Shine!
Time to serve the people

Villagers queing up for medical treatment

Briefing by our "Humanitarian & Love" Medical Team

Crowd control to monitor the flow

Team briefing on Day-1

Due to the muddy condition, dry weed and grass wereplaced on
soft muddy ground to prevent tyres got stuck on the soft ground

The angels of Pharmacy Discipline (Dept)

The angels of Pharmacy, GP & Comm. Translators

Villagers queue for medical consultation

This is the block I'm stationed in
"The Pharmacy Discipline"


The Angels of Pharma & Translator

Volunteers ushering patient
(Photo By: Jkai Chan)

Volunteers ushering patient
(Photo By: Jkai Chan)

The Dentist

Our Dentist Dr. Ng (He's a great guy with tons of practical military
medical skills that he acquired while serving in the military)
* His advice is be flexible to adapt to the constant
changing environment to carry out your duty*

Red Cross on-standby

Dental Hygiene!  How to brush your teeth.

Our local translator (Noy Songsayvang)

Without our dedicated translator, this whole expedition
will come to a halt.
* They are the angels that connects us with the locals*

Managed to take my BP by Sean Beh before our work starts.

The Pharma

I snapped this picture while returning from my toilet break

The Pharma nurse collecting meds for patients

Dr. Albert & Dr. Tan confirming available medicines with
our pharmacist Janice

Ms. Pan on the right
(She's an experience mid-wife)

Dr. Lim Shu Xian (Our GP)

IMU Students

Final Day Packing of unused medicines to be
donated to the local Laos Hospital
(*Photo by: Angie Low)

Packing up & stock counting of unfinished medicines
to be donated to the local hospitals

Our Amazing & Dedicated Pharmacists & Nurses
of the Pharmacy Discipline


Closing Ceremony by the locals, as a gratitude for the dedication

Closing Ceremony.. Where everyone loosen up
(From Left: Eddie & Dr. Lim)

The Pharmacy Discipline (Dept)

Appreciation Dinner for all volunteers

The team made REALIZED this expedition!
From Left: Eddie, Dr. Ong (S'pore), Dr. Loh (M'sia),
 Dr. Arul and Tan Boon Chin

Gan Ming Yi, a 1st year IMU Meds student
sharing his thoughts of this expedition.

Ong Wee Yeap (Expedition Leader)

Thank You!
(* Photo By: Jkai Chan)

(* Photo By: Jkai Chan)

Humanitarian & Love in mankind!

Post Expedition - Vientiane City Tour

With the ending of this "Free Medical Mission Expedition", began our journey of exploration in the historic & cultural land of Laos.  Time for our 2 days Free & Easy tour around the city of Vientiane and it's nearby attractions Through my ViewFinder!

An afternoon Lunch cruise on the Laos Lake

Photo Taken By Sean Beh

Selfie with Sean Beh

By the Dam!

Our Tour Guide with our driver's son

Seng Keo Hotel where we lived for the past 1 week


The local monks acquired the SELFIE techniques that
our Medical Students left behind.

Selfie with Sean Beh

Streets of Vientiane

Entrance to the
"Ammalin Laos Silk Factory"

Tour in the Laos Silk Factory
*Silk Weaver @ work*

Shot by our Tour Guide.. TOM!

The Mekong River Night Market

Divided by the Mekong River, the Siam Empire
took the piece of land from the Laos King.
(* The Laos King statue pointing towards the lost land,
to damn the Siam Empire for his act of injustice.)

Walking around Vientiane with GPS

Vientiane Night Market by the Mekong River

Munveer (IMU Student Team Leader)

Laos Ice-Cream
(Waffle cone & fruity flavor ice-cream)
* The Ice-cream texture was rather smooth and not so creamy,
worth a try if u like shaved ice.

Our tour guide.. TOM

Laos Cultural Dance & Music in a restaurant that
serves local Laos cuisine.
(But it was modified to serve our chinese taste instead)

Laos Cultural Dance

A word of appreciation by Rachel, representing the
students & personnel from IMU

Dr. Khoo sharing his thoughts to everyone
in this expedition.

Prof. Khoo giving a few words of appreciations &
sharing her thoughts in this expedition with everyone.

Munveer sharing his thoughts 

Farewell My Friend!

Selfie with our tour guide Tom & Sai

Time to go home!

This expedition was a tiring & exhausting trip to each & everyone of us, but the objectives and the Loves, Compassions & Simplicity in everyone that's involved gave energy, joys & laughters, loves, supports and hoped to keep each other going forward.
We went to bed at past midnight and woke up at 4.30am, with only a couple of hours to rest and some just took a short nap during these few days; yet we rise and hit the road to carry out our duty to serve the people.  We kept each other going forward and further, as we have each other side-by-side as one.. as a TEAM!
We were strangers when the team was formed, but now we are all a family; with the bonding that was strengthened together by sweats, exhaustion, frustrations, joys, laughters, cares, supports, loves, trusts and respects.   
"Plan for the Best, but Prepare for the Worst" & "Do It with All Your Heart"!  This is the FLEXIBILITY and ATTITUDE in field work.
Life throw us curve balls at times,
all we do is to catch it with a smile!
- JoeLiew YL -
** TAKE NOTE:  Photos in the Free & Easy trip section was re-submitted on 03rd-Aug-2015, as I had re-convert the RAW file using another approach to as similar and as close to the actual photos environment and atmosphere, without focusing on post photo edit. **

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