The SSIO of Lao PDR implemented a village improvement programme in 2014, focusing on three villages in the Dakchung province. These villages are in a very remote area and inhabited by the poorest people in the country. In partnership with the Lao PDR Government, community leaders, and others, the SSIO endeavoured to improve the living conditions of the villagers. Based on initial scouting visits from 4th–8th December 2014, Sathya Sai volunteers organised health screening camps and provided training from 19th–21st March 2015, to trainers to improve sanitary conditions in the villages.
Three medical camps were organised in the villages of Ban Dakvor, Ban Dakvang, and Ban Nongdone by six doctors, three nurses, two pharmacists, and other Sathya Sai volunteers, including two Sathya Sai doctors from Singapore and Malaysia. A total of 841 people were examined, and the doctors visited bedridden patients at home. Patients in critical condition were transported to the district hospital, and the SSIO arranged to follow up on cases requiring specialist treatment, at provincial or tertiary hospitals in Laos.
Human values-based educational materials on water quality, sanitation, and hygiene were distributed at the health camps, and lunch was provided to 1,200 people. In the training programme on the construction of sanitary toilets and latrines, artisans from the three villages were trained, and a toilet was installed in less than half a day, as a first step towards elimination of faecal-borne illnesses. The SSIO of Lao PDR plans to provide sanitary toilets for all three villages, serving 1,200 people. One of the goals is to train and motivate local volunteers, in order to sustain these projects in the future.