All posts filed under: Health

Lao American returnee organizes first official Vientiane International Half Marathon

It’ll be three years since Thouni Seneyakone permanently moved back home to the cozy capital of Vientiane. Almost a decade ago, we were just nimble freshmen at the University of Minnesota, learning the art of planning cultural events as board members of the Lao Students Association. From Laos to Minnesota at the age of 10 and now back to Laos as an adult, it’s been a journey that’s come full circle. “Returning to Laos to work and live here has always been my goal.” On a typical day at sunrise, you can catch an energetic Thouni and her running group ‘Team We Run’ jogging along the streets of Vientiane. An avid runner and sports enthusiast, Thouni and friends formed Events for Good, a socially-conscious sports event planning company based in Vientiane, which focuses on “organizing sporting events to promote healthy, active lifestyles and raising funds to help local communities.” This March 6th, Thouni is organizing the Vientiane International Half Marathon, the first in the capital city to be backed by many big supporters, including the Lao government. More than 500 local and international runners …

Saving lives on the streets of Vientiane

“Saviors of the street”, they’re appropriately nicknamed. In the increasingly crowded capital of Vientiane, emergencies happen often and while Americans take just 10 minutes for granted, imagine having to wait an hour or more before help arrived. Vientiane Rescue Co-founder, Sebastien Perret, remembers the first time he witnessed a horrific accident in Vientiane that changed his life forever. “Although I used to be an EMT in France, I’ve never been confronted with such a bloodbath”, said Perret. After witnessing a motorbike with two men smashed against the pavement by a car who hit-and-run, they were left for dead on the road, with bystanders unresponsive by fear, despite being only 200 meters away from a hospital. That’s when Perret decided to start Vientiane Rescue, the only 24/7 free emergency service in the capital. Vientiane Rescue responds to an estimated 19 accidents daily. From the last public report in 2013, Laos tracked that there were around 1,000 accidents with over 900 deaths that year. That’s from registered vehicles alone, without any figures from the hospitals on injuries and unreported …