Knowing Lao health vocabulary is vital. It could be the difference between life and death! Today we're going to give you a list of handy terms that you could use at the doctors, hospital, or perhaps just because you are interested in learning new vocabulary sets.
|Blood pressure||Khuaam dan leuod|
|Diabetes||Phanyad bao van||ພະຍາດເບົາຫວານ|
|Sunburn||Phiv mai aeed||ຜິວໄໝ້ແດດ|
|Exercise||k koa lang kai||ອອກກໍາລັງກາຍ|
Laos has both private and public healthcare. However, in both forms, it is very limited. The only places where you could find care to match Western medicine would be in the big cities, mainly Vientiane.
It is also worth noting that many Lao people believe in traditional medicine, heavily influenced by the Chinese way of medical care. Lao is an animist tradition with a long history of spiritual healers. These are still popular in remote areas.
Anyone who has been to Laos will be shocked to see that the pharmacies are unregulated. So you can buy drugs that in the West that would require a doctor's prescription. This can contribute to accidental overdose and lead to antibiotic resistance in the long run.
Perhaps the most significant turnaround in the fortunes of the average Lao citizen has been the increase in life expectancy. In 1988, the average life expectancy was 49. A stunningly low figure if you consider that in Japan the same year that number was 78. The main reason for this was the atrocious amount of child deaths bringing the average down. The under-five mortality rate at the time was 180 per 1000. And even worse in rural areas with numbers as high as 350 per 1000. As of 2010, the number of deaths had been massively reduced to 580 per 100,000.
The main cause of death was the lack of sterile facilities in maternity wards, but the number of diseases endemic in the country was just as bad. Particularly big killers were malaria, respiratory infections, and diarrhea.
Malaria is and was a massive killer. Even in 2021, malaria was estimated to have killed 400,000 people globally.
Things began to change in Laos in the 1950s. The mosquito killer DDT was sprayed over large parts of the country. The Lao jungle is an ideal breeding ground for the mosquito species that carry the parasite which causes malaria. Between 1975 and 1990, the health ministry reported a 10% drop in infected people. However, sometimes it can be difficult to believe these numbers because governments are not always honest about figures.
In Laos, it is well known that older people are generally shorter than younger people. This can be traced back directly to nutrition. It is only in recent years that large numbers of people weren't at the risk of starvation.
Many tourists and ex-pats, particularly older ones, decide whether or not to visit Laos based on the quality of the hospitals in Vientiane. Most tourists begin in Vientiane, and it is centrally located if you find yourself in an accident elsewhere in the country.
It is advisable to avoid public hospitals and only go to international hospitals. Even then, many people still choose to go over the border to international hospitals in Thailand.
I hope that provided you with a good taster of Lao culture and Lao vocabulary.
Sidenote: if you're interested in a Lao phrasebook, check out Simply Learn.
If you want to learn Lao, the Ling App by Simya Solutions is the best free language app(there is also a premium version). We have fast and fun learning, everything from the business talk, important survival phrases to advanced conversation.
We believe in language equality. Just because a language is less spoken doesn't mean mainstream apps should forget about it. In fact, we have over 60 other languages that are lesser spoken.
About our courses: they're tailor-made by expert language professionals. Our Spaced repetition technique flashcards ensure that vocabulary in your head never becomes stale. It is reintroduced to you at timed intervals to keep building those neural pathways.
Our listening exercises are all recorded by native speakers, so you don't miss out on the subtle nuances of pronunciation. Lao people can distinguish between those who've learned with a native speaker and those who haven't.
We also have a writing function to practice original Lao writing. We aren't going to lie to you; this is one of the most challenging aspects of learning Lao if you write and speak English natively. To the untrained eye, the script looks particularly alien. In our app, you can draw on your device's screen, so you learn to form the letters.
We have a leaderboard that, in a few seconds, you can check your learning progress against other users, which encourages you to keep working hard and continuously improve. Of course, the gamification elements of our app also keep you coming back and taking the extra fun Lao language quizzes. Not forgetting our A.I. chatbot, which naturally and seamlessly allows you to practice your speaking skills through structured dialogues.
Thanks for reading; come over and speak Lao quickly