On August 22, 2019 in Da Nang city, the Medical Committee Netherlands – Vietnam (MCNV) and Da Nang University of Medical Technology and Pharmacy organized successfully the workshop “Developing Outlines for a 12-months Course in Speech and Language Therapy (SALT) and Physiotherapy (PT)”. The workshop was attended by nearly 40 delegates representing the Medical Service Administration, Ministry of Health; Vietnam Rehabilitation Association; the Center for Creative Initiatives in Health and Population (CCIHP); Health Departments of Quang Nam and Thua Thien Hue Provinces; Hue University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Hai Duong Medical Technical University, Da Nang University of Medical Technology and Pharmacy, Ho Chi Minh University of Medicine and Pharmacy; Thua Thien Hue Rehabilitation Hospital and a number of NGOs that have implemented training projects on Rehabilitation.
The Project “Interdisciplinary rehabilitation services supporting children with intellectual and developmental disabilities to thrive” (I-THRIVE) is a 3-year project, which is funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), with project owner is CCIHP and MCNV is the co-implementing unit.
The project has 3 specific objectives, in which MCNV is in charge of the objective “To enhance the capacity of rehabilitation professionals, focusing on district level, with 3 specialties of Physiotherapy (PT), Occupational Therapy (OT) and Speech and Language Therapy (SALT)”, implementing with a number of international and national universities. The development of outlines for a 12-months course in SALT and PT is an activity that helps achieve this important objective.
According to the need assessment conducted by MCNV and CCIHP, Vietnam is now facing a big gap in providing rehabilitation services, especially SALT and OT services. The demand for rehabilitation of people is big while services of health facilities, especially at the district level are still limited. Technical rehabilitation services focus only on PT while there have been no technical services for SALT and OT. Rehabilitation services for children are currently in serious shortage. Rehabilitation services for children only focus on PT for children with cerebral palsy and support a few autistic children with speech and communication disorders. Other challenges that Vietnam faces relate to the lack of well-trained human resource for rehabilitation, especially in the areas of SALT and OT; the equipment for the supply of rehabilitation services is also very modest. That is why CCIHP and MCNV proposed the project “Interdisciplinary rehabilitation services supporting children with intellectual and developmental disabilities to thrive” and approved by USAID.
Coming to the workshop, MSc. MD. Le Tuan Dong, Head of the Rehabilitation and Inspection Department, Medical Service Administration, Ministry of Health expressed his confidence, believing that trainees after taking a 12-months course in SALT and PT would be able to provide rehabilitation services in community, help narrow the gap between needs of SALT and PT in practice. At the same time, MSc. MD. Le Tuan Dong also showed his expectation that the outlines for a 12-months course in SALT and PT would be completed and replicated in other places in the country, not just in two project provinces Quang Nam and Thua Thien Hue.
At the workshop, delegates had the opportunity to discuss about the outlines of the 12-months course in SALT and PT. The overall objectives of the two programs are to train technical rehabilitation technicians specialized in SALT and PT with ethical ethics, knowledge and skills on SALT and PT; help future staff members to be able to work in team work, be creative, give the best services to patients, contribute to the protection, care and improvement of health and well-being of the target groups, and help create positive changes for these groups.
It is expected that after finishing the course, the trainees will be awarded with certificates of the 12-month course in SALT and PT along with detailed transcripts. The number of credits and training time will be under the current regulations of the nation.