MCNV representative (left) presents aid package to Huong Lap Healthcare Center.
Located amidst steep mountain slopes and winding, treacherous roads, Huong Lap is a poor, impoverished commune in Quang Tri Province, on the border with Laos. After being striken by the historic devastating flashfloods and landslides last October-November, the commune, at the moment, is finding itseft in the middle of the fierce battle against the fourth wave of COVID-19.
Since the start of the pandemic, Vietnam’s widely praised response to contain the virus has depended on three main pillars: (i) strict border controls, (ii) effective isolation of cases and their contacts and (iii) mobilization of public support. For the commune of Huong Lap, this meant maintaining a high vigilance along the porous border with Laos and their small healthcare center had to double as a clinic and quarantine facility.
Border guards had to spend extended periods away from their families, stay in basic border huts and maintain regular patrols along the dense forest tracks used as illegal crossings into Vietnam. For health workers, it meant testing and quarantining people who may have been at risk of infection from COVID-19. Since April 2021, Huong Lap Healthcare Center has quarantined 229 cases returning from localities affected by the pandemic across the country and 9 cases of illegal entry.
In order to assist Huong Lap commune in the battle against COVID-19, from May 28th to June 4th, 2021, the Medical Committee Netherlands-Vietnam (MCNV) presented aids worth over VND 50 million (~EUR 1790) to Huong Lap Healthcare Center and Border guard station.
The aid package sponsored for Huong Lap Healthcare Center consists of 5 aneroid monitor for measuring blood pressure, 5 digital infrared thermometers, 50 boxes of four-layer antimicrobial masks, 50 bottle of hand sanitizers (500ml/each) and 6 solar-powered lightings. The total value of the aid is VND 19.7 million.
The Huong Lap Healthcare Center has been providing basic healthcare services to local residents, majorly people of Van Kieu ethnic minority. On average, the Center receives 15-20 clients a day. During peak time, for instance, monthly vaccination day, this number can hit 200. At the moment, the Center has been struggling with several challenges caused by limited infrastructures, including power outages. Solar-powered lighting therefore is essential to help the Center maintain operations.
“We are extremely grateful for MCNV’s precious support. Your generosity has not only enabled us to upgrade our clinic and purchase vital equipment but also motivates us to strive harder in the battle against COVID-19.” exclaimed Doctor Nguyen Thi Mui, Head of Huong Lap Healthcare Center.
On this occasion, MCNV visited Huong Lap commune Border Guards Station and presented an aid package MCNV consisting of 02 gas stoves, gas tanks, electrical wires, 12 water containers and mini water filters, with total value of VND 31.5 million. The aid aims to help improve the living and working condition of the border guard forces, who have been dedicated vast efforts to control illegal entry in order to help prevent the locality from COVID-19 transmission.
On behalf of Huong Lap commune Border Guard Station, Colonel Nguyen Dinh Phu, expressed his gratitude to the timely and practical supports of MCNV to improve the living conditions of his officers stationed at the Huong Lap border patrol post. “My officers now have more energy, and their morale is high to continue their vital work, thanks to MCNV,” he said.
In the next couple weeks, MCNV will provide electrical wires worth VND 20 million (~EUR 715) to support another Border guard station in Quang Tri in supplying power to new border checkpoints./.
|Quang Tri is MCNV’s key beneficiary locality, where the organization started its supports for Vietnam in 1974. For the past 15 years, MCNV has diversified its fields of support for Vietnam by implementing projects in livelihood, response to climate change,social inclusion, etc. In addition to long-term development project, currently MCNV has been coordinating the effort of donors in and out of Vietnam to implement respond-to-crisis activities.|