The Laos Agent Orange Survey project aim is to identify and address the ongoing health and environmental impacts of Agent Orange/Dioxin in the heavily sprayed regions of Lao PDR. Unlike in Viet Nam, there are no estimates as to the number of people potentially exposed to dioxin contaminated herbicides in Laos and very little understanding about the use of Agent Orange and other herbicides during the war. While it is known where the US air force sprayed herbicides in Laos as part of Operation Ranch Hand, we do not know how much if any spraying was done in Laos under the auspices of the CIA during the 'Secret War'.
The survey is currently focused on 5 districts in Salavan (Samoi, Ta-Oey) and Savannakhet (Sepone, Nong, Vilabouly) provinces along the border of Viet Nam where the Ho Chi Minh Trail was located. Working in partnership with the Lao National Regulatory Authority WLP is surveying the heavily sprayed villages to identify those people with congenital birth defects and disabilities that may be related to the use of dioxin contaminated herbicides during the war. The project also provides medical care, income generation and/or vocational training to those we identify with disabilities potentially related to Agent Orange/Dioxin.
WLP - LAOS is funded by a generous grant from Green Cross International. Additional funding for direct support to those identified is provided by a grant from the Year of Giving Generously. WLP also receives support for the project from the Chino Cienega Foundation.
We have been able to visit 100 villages and have identified 416 children and adults that have congenital birth defects that may be associated with Agent Orange/Dioxin. More than half are younger than 18 years old.
Since November 2015, we have been able to provide services in the form of medical care and/or vocational training to 30 of those we have identified. Others are waiting for international specialists to travel to Laos to address their complicated medical needs.
Much more needs to be done as we are currently able to identify and help a small number of those we believe have congenital disabilities related to dioxin exposure. In addition, services for people with disabilities in Laos are scarce and most often require travel from rural villages in southern Laos to Vientiane or Viet Nam.
Lao Agent Orange Survey
Donate via Paypal or by check to the address below. Put "Laos AO Survey" on the memo line.