Give Children A Choice believes that healthy children make the best students. Health fairs are our way of helping children be healthier. The Provincial Health Departments, Lao and U.S. volunteers, and local Lao businesses help us make our health fairs successful and fun.
Volunteer doctors, pharmacists and other enthusiatic supporters join us from the United States. Local pediatricians, hospital staff, provincial and district medical staff and several donors participate.
There are many activities that happen during our health fairs.
- children are weighed in and their height is taken.
- free immunizations, medicine if needed and vitamins.
- free medical checkups for the villagers; infants first, preschoolers second, other village children third and time permitting adults.
- health, hygiene and nutrition demonstrations. Children participate in proper handwashing and teethbrushing demonstrations.
- games, prizes and goodie bags for the children. Each child leaves the health fair with a toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, vitamins, worm medicine, pens, pads and health, hygiene and nutritional brochures.
- emergency medical care for children identified with serious medical problems. This normally consists of one of our medical volunteers accompanying the patient to the nearest medical facility or hospital for treatment. Give Children A Choice volunteers pay the expenses for transportation and treatment.
Our health fairs are Give Children A Choice's way of ensuring that our preschoolers learn the benefits of good health, hygiene and nutrition habits in an environment where children's health is compromised by malnutrition. It is not unusual to find children living in unsanitary conditions due to the lack of clean running water.
Give Children A Choice started conducting health fairs back in 2006 and now they are a part of each new preschool opening. We have an awesome team of doctors and other volunteers from the U.S. that give their time and pay their own expenses to travel with us each year and perform hundreds of medical checkups. We couldn't do it without them!