From 24 to 28 October, delegates from Viet Nam’s Ministry of Health, Haiphong University, and WHO visited Fiji to see health e-learning in action. The successful POLHN program has been the inspiration for these experts, who are seeking to improve the quality and coverage of health care in Northern Viet Nam.
Health care in Northern Viet Nam
Today, poverty rates in Northern Viet Nam range from 24%–40%. Poverty, both as a cause and a consequence, is an indicator of poor health. Improving access to health care and strengthening health care systems is therefore essential to poverty reduction in the region.
In order to improve the quality and coverage of health care in Northern Viet Nam, Haiphong University of Medicine and Pharmacy has been developing health care education capacities for professionals. Inspired by the success of POLHN in the South Pacific, it is developing a platform for health training. This will assist so poor and isolated Vietnamese have improved access to quality health care. This is known as the IBSA-Haiphong University eLearning for health project.
Viet Nam Study tour
Supported by the project’s budget, delegates travelled to Fiji in October to see POLHN in action. These experts were Assistant Professor Pham Van Thuc, Dr Pham Van Linh, and Dr Nguyen Thi Tham from the Haiphong University, Mr Tong Hoai Nam of the Viet Nam Ministry of Health, and Mr Emmanuel Eraly, from WHO Viet Nam office.
Over the course of the tour, delegates visited POLHN learning centres, hospitals and the Ministry of Health. They were able to gain a first-hand impression from both users and trainers. They discussed how e-learning can complement and substitute traditional forms of learning, as well as the technical support required to set up facilities.
Overall, the Viet Nam study tour was an incredible success. The Vietnamese and Fijians had much to learn from one another. Now, Viet Nam’s Ministry of Health, along with Haiphong University and WHO Viet Nam, is in the beginning stages of implementing its e-learning platform.