Ha Tinh is one of the poorest Provinces in Vietnam. It has adverse weather conditions with harsh cold winters and hot dry summers. The Province is frequently affected by typhoons and tropical storms, causing havoc to the community, its people, crops and buildings. Most of the people scrape a living from the land, but poverty is great, and life is hard. In these conditions illness and disease are common, and life expectancy is low. The Province has 20,000 people who are suffering from the effects of Agent Orange.
MSAVLC has been associated with Ha Tinh General Hospital since 2007, and has supplied it with much-needed Paediatric, Ophthalmology and Ear, Nose and Throat equipment. During the Trustees’ visit to the hospital in 2013 they were given a report showing all the equipment that MSAVLC had bought since 2007, and how effective it had been.
Following the purchase of paediatric equipment, including incubators, the hospital’s infant mortality rate had decreased by 20.6%, and many susceptible infants with low birth weights, some born as early as 27 weeks, had been saved. 1,428 babies had used the incubators and 1,005 had received phototherapy from the machines that the charity had purchased.
In the Ophthalmology Department, since the purchase of the bio-microscope in 2009, 45,600 patients had had an eye test, and 2,300 cases of eye surgery had been performed using the MSAVLC-funded surgical microscope.
Following the purchase of new Ear, Nose and Throat equipment the hospital staff had been able to learn many new techniques, and procedures are now carried out at the hospital, where previously patients had to travel to Hanoi. 107 patients had undergone ENT surgery.
The hospital has undergone a transformation since 2007, with new buildings constructed alongside the old ones, but building work continues and demands are increasing on the services provided. The hospital is still lacking in equipment for cancer, trauma and urology treatments, as well as further paediatric equipment. MSAVLC appear to be the only external supporters of Ha Tinh General Hospital, apart from some financial input from a Japanese charity. Certainly more than half the equipment used in the Paediatric Special Care Unit had been provided by MSAVLC and many babies’ lives have been saved.
We are thankful to all our supporters who have contributed to this equipment, and we hope to be able to give more support to Ha Tinh General Hospital in the future.
2015 – UPDATE
The Trustees were pleased to witness the many changes and improvements that had been made at the hospital, and were shown the equipment that had been purchased by MSAVLC in use. They were pleased to see eye examination equipment, which had been purchased 13 years ago, was still being used for 50 – 100 patients per day. It had obviously been well maintained and looked in perfect condition.
However, there was still an obvious need for more equipment. There were 12 babies in the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit but only eight incubators available for use. Some seriously ill babies had to share or wait until one became available. The Province still suffers from adverse weather conditions and poverty, and illnesses are common, putting great strain upon the hospital and its staff.
The Trustees have agreed to purchase two more incubators and 2 phototherapy machines for use in the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit.