Enhance high quality mother and child care healthcare service access

Childhood illness is very dangerous for children because it can lead quickly to fatal injury or death if adults do not have enough knowledge and skills of proper treatment. Statistics show 48.8% of the children mortality in Hoa Binh are new born babies.

 The training session on IMCI for communal and district health staff in Kim Boi

Tu has been the Head of Kim Truy commune health centre, Kim Boi district since 2010. Due to the poor infrastructure conditions of the health centre, people used to take their children to the provincial hospital in the city for treatment rather than come to the centre. Meanwhile, mothers and child care givers did not have proper knowledge about childhood illness symptoms and treatment, resulting in bad effects for their children.

“I heard a sad story about a mother closed the room windows where her new born daughter was sleeping in and she was suffering from jaundice. After her first month, she was affecting incurable mental problems,” Tu tells. After that, she decided to participate in ChildFund’s health project to improve the mother and child healthcare services quality. She was invited in a workshop on the Integrated Management of Childhood Illness (IMCI) supported by ChildFund.

IMCI is an innovation of integrated activities under the national targeted programs to treat childhood illness in Vietnam. The objective of IMCI is to improve childhood illness treatment skills for health staff, developing the healthcare services system and promoting mother and child healthcare practices at home and in the community. 

The health staff learnt about IMCI

During the workshop, the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology, the Department of Mother and Child Health under the Ministry of Health, the Provincial Department of Health, the provincial hospitals and district and commune health centres discussed about the implementation of IMCI in Hoa Binh.

“It is crucial to make efforts for implement IMCI in the communities for the child rights of being survival,” Nguyen Duc Vinh, the Director of Department of Mother and Child Health says. “It is an opportunity to raise awareness of health staff and mothers and child care givers about mother and child healthcare services.”

After the workshop, Tu and other 11 communal and district health staff of Kim Boi were trained about IMCI. She learnt about childhood illness, dangerous body symptoms, illness categories, treatment methods and consultancy activities.  The training activities included researching, reading documents and watching videos and photos. Particularly, two third of training time is for role playing and clinical practices at the provincial hospital under the supervision and support from experts.

“After the training, I feel more confident to define child illness symptoms and have treatment regimen,” Tu says. “I also take more concentration on re-examination to follow up the illness situation carefully.”

Tu and other health staff practised on child illness treatment

“Learning about IMCI is very important for health staff at the grassroots level to widen their professional knowledge and skills about child illness,” Huyen, the trainer says.  “It can help reduce time and expenses for treatment, especially the bad effects for children due to late delivery or improper treatment.”

In December 2016, ChildFund supported Kim Truy commune health centre to build a new ten-room building and provided fundamental medical equipment such as yellow lamp or oxygen generator. Tu and other trained health staff also organized many training sessions about IMCI to spread their knowledge and skills to improve the healthcare service quality of the health center.

“By improving the child health care services of the centre, I hope that the centre will be a reliable place for parents to take their children to treat their diseases. It can help children develop strongly in a supportive community with full of qualified healthcare services.”

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