Stories of Change

Top: participants practice during the First Aid training. Bottom: Lap at the training.

CWS efforts in Vietnam positively impacted 40,036 people in 69 communities last year.

Source: CWS Annual Report 2017

Valuable training and sharing for health workers in Vietnam

Me Van Lap is a 30-year-old health worker at a small clinic in the remote Than Uyen district of Vietnam. CWS partners with the local government workers here to help people improve their personal health and that of their family and environment. Though he is young, Lap is a seasoned health worker.

Unfortunately, Lap and his colleagues don’t have many chances to continue their education or join training courses to improve their knowledge and skills. He was very enthusiastic, then, when given the opportunity to join a First Aid refresher course hosted by CWS as part of our ELCA partnership, NEW IDEA 2, for ethnic minorities in Vietnam.

One of the most important parts of the training was that Lap and other health workers had time to sit together and share challenges, obstacles to providing good care and other concerns at work as well as to clarify best practices, gain updated knowledge and develop professional skills to better serve the people from the villages that use Ta Gia clinic.

For example, Lap shared a story from his own experience for peer feedback. Some time ago a young woman came into his clinic for treatment of a head wound that she had received in an accident. It was a deep cut that was dirty. Lap cleaned the wound with antiseptic liquid and then bandaged it. He did not cut her long hair, which is very important to ethnic minority women like the injured woman. He wanted to hear from the group whether he had done the right thing in not cutting her hair.

After a good discussion, everyone agreed that in all cases proper First Aid principles must be strictly followed. He should have cut her hair before cleaning and bandaging the wound to avoid potential infection. When he talked to our staff, Lap did not feel like he had “lost face” in the class. On the contrary, he found the training useful and said it was a very good opportunity for him to get peer feedback.

Dedicated health workers like Lap are making a huge difference in rural communities, and we are proud to support them as they improve their skills and work together to further treat and heal their communities.