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Stories: Children, Community, Future

Community healthcare at the front line

“Do you hear your fetal-heart sound?” softly asked Tuyet to Nghia, a pregnant woman.

Tuyet became the Head of the health centre in 2008. Before, she was the health staff.

 

Tuyet is the Head of Tay Phong health centre. Having over 20 years of working in health service, she has contacted with dozens of children, pregnant women and old people every day in the commune.Today, Nghia, a 39 week pregnant woman came to the health center to check up her health.

She talked with Tuyet that she suddenly felt her legs very heavy. After testing her urine and heart-blood pressure and talking with Nghia about her daily activities and feelings, Tuyet doubted that Nghia may be getting poision during the end quarter of pregnancy period. She advised Nghia to go to the provincial hospital soon to do more tests.

Tuyet inspecting the severeness of Nhat’s broken teeth

Another patient is Nhat, an eight-year-old boy who lives in a poor family. He has just broken his two teeth because of beating with his friends at school. After discussing with his father about his growth measures, daily menus and disease history, Tuyet found that Nhat is lacked of calcium and vitamin D. He even broken his two arms some years ago.

“Nhat has not drunk milk much since he was a baby. We do not have enough money to buy him various foods. Every day, we go far away from home to work while he is at home with his ten-year-old sister. Normally they collect vegetables and river to eat,” shared Nhat’s father.

“When I had prenancy of Nhat, I did not eat much. I delivered his birth at home with the support of my mother in law. After one month since the birth delivery, I was still blooded and did not have milk to feed him,” shared Nhat’s mother.

Tuyet was very sad to hear about his story. She brought Nhat some milk boxes and suggested his parents to pay more attention about his nutrition.

“Working with children is my luck and happiness in work. Everyday seeing a newborn baby or the smiling face of a strong child or pregnant woman, I feel very happy and refreshed,” shared Tuyet. However, due to the limited conditions of infrastructure and health care staff’s capacities, the service of the health care did not satisfy the needs of children and people in the commune. There is a few of children or people coming to the health center to check up.

The new health centre was built in 2012 with a child friendly room

In 2012, ChildFund supported to construct the new building for the center, with a room especially for children and outdoor toys in the ground. The health center quickly became the most favourite of children to come and play because there was not any place which had entertainment facilities for children to play like that at that time.
“The room and equipment and toys helped us reach to children more easily and treat them effectively. They feel very close to health staff and the center previously,” shared Thao, a health staff.

Tuyet and her staff were trained from ChildFund about professional knowledge about child and mother health care and communication skills to work with children.
In 2013, the health center was recognized to meet the national health center standards. People in the commune visit the health center more regularly.

“Having more knowledge and equipment, I do my jobs much more effectively. The most important thing that I realise is the understanding of health care staff towards their patients. Practicing communication skills that I have learnt from trainings, I have gained more success in work”.

Tuyet often start her work with patients by talking friendly with them about their lives. By sharing with them, she can get many important information which support to help her in deciding the suitable treatment methods. For example, she found that a child had some symptoms that can respond negatively to a type of vaccine or a young pregnant girl affected psychological crisis for being sexual abused previously.

Good communication skills support Tuyet and her staff especially in working with children.

“Before, I used to be so nervous to work with children because they did not cooperative to be tested or checked up. When they cried out, I could not do anything and felt very angry with them. Now, I have a better plan. I understand their psychology. I work more patiently with them and control my emotions better. I spend more time to make friends with them at first and give toys for them to play with. When they are more relaxed, I start checking up. I also encourage them to be brave by showing other children silently being checked up. By that way, children are more good-behaved and cooperative in work”.

Every month, the health center receive about 120 children coming to inject vaccination and check up their health and more than 50 pregnant women to monitor their health status.

“I think that thinking positively is the key factor to help you work and life better. Even if you are doing a small or great work, if you try your best effort and devote your whole heart or determine to make it, I believe it will give you back success and joys in somehow. The more things you give to people, the more happiness you will gain,” shared Tuyet.

“I feel secured to be checked up health by Tuyet. She is a very good listener that I can share anything with, not just like to a health staff but a sister. Thanks to that, she can help me monitor my pregnancy better,” said Nghia.

“I feel very lucky to access to the advanced professional knowledge and skills thanks to ChildFund’s support. Now I often update my knowledge and practice my skills to improve the quality of health care services. Nowadays, people have more choices to select their health care services and just by improving myself and the health center we can develop children and people’s trust. That is the way to develop our community’s lives and health conditions”.

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