Xuất bản bài báo: "Proactive and Comprehensive Community Health Actions to Fight the COVID-19 Epidemics: Initial Lessons From VN"

Xuất bản bài báo: "Proactive and Comprehensive Community Health Actions to Fight the COVID-19 Epidemics: Initial Lessons From VN"

16:30 - 05/04/2020

 

Proactive and Comprehensive Community Health Actions to Fight the COVID-19 Epidemics: Initial Lessons From Vietnam

Hoang Van Minh, MD, PhD

Hanoi University of Public Health

 

Dear Editor:

In Vietnam, a middle-income country with more than 96 million population, as of March 27, 2020, 153 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed (no case of death). Vietnam mobilized participation from its entire political system to fight the COVID-19 epidemic and has achieved some initial successes. Under the direction of the Communist Party and the Government of Vietnam, the grassroots health system, including district health centers (707 districts), commune health stations (10,614 communes), and networks of health collaborators, has implemented a number of proactive and comprehensive community health actions against the epidemic.The district health centers have coordinated with commune local authorities to set up different "Rapid Action Teams" with participation from all the community stakeholders, including health workers (public and private health staffs, retired health professionals and health students, etc.), policemen, soldiers, teachers, representatives of community organizations, and community people. The grassroots health system mobilized and prioritized all its financial resources (from State budget and contributions from donors, charity funds and community people) to make ready essential equipment, medicines, and medical supplies for prevention and control of the epidemic. Ministry of Health guidelines on prevention and control of COVID-19 have been strictly applied. Information technology to improve the reporting system has also been promoted. Compliance of the government policy on electronic medical declaration has been encouraged to provide timely data on health and other epidemiological characteristics of community people.

In fact, comprehensive health education campaigns to raise community knowledge and awareness about COVID-19 and to promote hygienic practices such as using a face mask, washing hands with soap, etc., have been continuously conducted. Community members have been asked to advise their relatives, who have symptoms of COVID-19 infection, to go to the nearest health facilities for examination and treatment. Epidemiological investigations, including early detection of infected and suspected cases, close monitoring, supervision of people who had contact with either confirmed or suspected cases, have been vigorously carried out. Strict quarantine of infected cases, isolation of suspected cases, and spray of sanitizer at potentially affected areas have been extensively conducted. Medical examination for the elderly, people with chronic diseases, and other vulnerable populations in the community have also been actively performed. Importantly, confirmed COVID-19 has been mostly treated at local health facilities to avoid unnecessary referrals and burdens to specialized hospitals.

Vietnam has achieved some initial successes in prevention and control of the COVID-19 epidemic in the country. Vietnam and the grassroots health system in the country should have further proactive and comprehensive community health preparedness for different possible scenarios of COVID-19 epidemics in the coming times. I believe these initial lessons from Vietnam could be useful for similar settings in the world.

Hoang Van Minh, MD, PhD
Professor, Vice-rector
Hanoi University of Public Health
Hanoi, Viet Nam
hvm@huph.edu.vn

 

Proactive and Comprehensive Community Health Actions to Fight the COVID-19 Epidemics: Initial Lessons From Vietnam

 

Source: Center for Population Health Science (CPHS), Hanoi University of Public Health