September 27th, 2022 – After five years of implementation, the Speech and Language Therapy (SALT) Education Development in Vietnam project was concluded with all goals achieved, including the graduation of Vietnam’s first ever 14 Master and 20 Bachelor degree holders of SALT (MSALT and BSALT).
Following the first ever Master of SALT, the first Bachelor of SALT (graduating from Da Nang University of Medical Technology and Pharmacy) was another significant outcome generated by SALT Education project – a component of DISTICNT project by VietHealth, funded by USAID in a five-year period (October 1st , 2017 – September 30th, 2022).
The project was implemented by MCNV with technical support from Trinh Foundation Australia (TFA), aiming tolay a solid foundation for the development of an official education system for the SALT profession in Vietnam. The Project was concluded with a closing meeting held on September 27th to review the implementation of the Project as well as drawing lessons learned.
Earlier, on September 26th, a hybrid Thematic Workshop on SALT was held by MCNV and partners, bringing together around 120 in-person and online participants from Vietnam and abroad. The MSALT graduates, BSALT students and international academics from different universities in Australia presented their research in SALT.
In over the past five years, SALT project has successfully achieved its key goals, with the completion of Vietnam’s first Masters and Bachelors of SALT, conducted in coordination with HCM University of Medicine and Pharmacy (UMP HCM) and Da Nang University of Medical Technology and Pharmacy (DUMPT) respectively.
The two MSALT and BSALT courses cover all the SALT scopes following international education in SALT, including assessment, diagnosis, habilitation, rehabilitation, counseling, and prevention services for individuals from birth through old age who have some type of speech, voice, language, fluency, cognitive-communicative, or swallowing problems due to delayed development or as a result of an injury, cancer, stroke or progressive neurological disease. The MSALT was for 2 years and the BSALT was for 4 years. Due to the shortage of qualified Vietnamese SALT trainers, most of the trainers are from overseas (Australia, the UK, US, New Zealand).
With the completion of the MSALT and BSALT courses, the Project has supported four Medical Universities which are UMP HCMC, DUMPT, Hue University of Medicine and Pharmacy (Hue UMP) and Hai Duong Medical Technical University (HMTU) on capacity building for SALT trainers and BSALT, MSALT curriculum development.
As a part of the Project, a network of national and international SALT academics, practitioners and clinical sites were established to support the development of SALT in Vietnam in terms of education and services.
Concurrently, the awareness of SALT among rehabilitation professionals and the public has been vastly improved, thanks to the frequent maintenance and updates of a SALT website (http://speechtherapyvn.net/) and a Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/ngonngutrilieu.mcnv).
Overall, despite half of the journey was covered with COVID-19 pandemic challenges, SALT project celebrated its conclusion with the accomplishment of all goals. This achievement could not have been made without the strong commitments by MCNV and the unwavering support from the project sponsor – USAID, related governmental authorities, national and international academics and clinical educators, service providers in rehabilitation in HCMC, Da Nang, and Hai Duong, and many others./.