War Victims Medical Fund (WVMF)
The War Victims Medical
Fund provided medical care and post-operative
rehabilitation to Mr. Leu Ha after he
was blinded by ordnance left on the ground
in Laos during the Vietnam War.
Explosions of UXO cause serious multiple injuries,
and landmine or UXO accident survivors in
Laos find themselves struggling to pay the
steep costs of medical care. Complicated
surgeries, hospital stays, and follow-up
care frequently cost a large percentage of
the average annual salary for a UXO survivor
from rural Laos. These costs can send the
family into a downward economic spiral. Since
1996, World Education has partnered with
provincial Departments of Health to set up
a working group dedicated to providing the
treatment funds for UXO survivors. This War
Victims Medical Fund covers the costs of
medical treatment, transportation and a living
allowance while the patient is in the hospital.
If the person needs additional treatment
after the initial period in the hospital,
the fund will also cover those costs. The
fund is co-managed by World Education and
each Department of Health. With funds provided
by donations, the hospitals are able to provide
Thongleung was injured
when he and his friends played with a
cluster bomb. After receiving funding
through the War Victims Medical Fund,
he is now able to work with his family
Now operating in five provinces, the War Victims
Medical Fund is managed by a working group
consisting of a provincial hospital surgeon,
a nurse, representatives of district hospitals,
World Education personnel, and a finance
officer, who make decisions about its policies
and criteria for use. The fund is partially
supported by the McKnight
Foundation, the Dutch Embassy in Bangkok, and the U.S.
Department of State Office of Weapons Removal
and Abatement. However, the fund is consistently
overspent because of continual demand, and
relies heavily on private donations to ensure
that UXO survivors' lives are saved and that
they can return to their families, communities,
and jobs. Please help us with your Donations.
A video of the War Victims Medical Fund at work:
Ladone was permanently injured by a UXO after making a fire on the ground in Laos in 2010. In this video, Ladone explains how the accident affected him, and what has been done to help him lead a more productive life.
Watch the video here.
The video was put together by the Quality of Life Association, a non-profit that World Education established in Laos run by UXO survivors and people with disabilities to provide support to others who have survived UXO accidents through physical, psycho-social and livelihoods support. It is one of the first of its kind in Laos as the government only recently allowed the registration of NGO's in the country.