Development Practice in Primary Health
Care: A Participatory Service and Education Model in Lao
Valerie Dzubur, RN MSN FNP-C
Samuel Merritt College
The provision of primary health care is basic to all societies. Although taken for granted in industrial and post-industrial nations, it is not uncommon to visit many localities where people with health needs remain un-served. There is increasing recognition among Lao people that good health is critical to appropriate development. Furthermore, where resources are scarce, service teams can work with local people to meet needs in creative ways. The main point of this paper is to demonstrate that health care needs can be taught and administered without prolonged development implementation and/or extensive funding. Moreover, in this case, international health care providers collaborate with local practitioners to create conditions that can meet health needs in both an educative and applied manner. In this participatory service model, a minimal infrastructure was identified and used with partners to create the requisite conditions for education and service. Examples are drawn from work with a local free Sunday clinic in Vientiane and an orphanage in Luang Phrabang.