According to the Vietnamese culture, the “Lotus flower” symbolizes purity, commitment, hope, optimism and triumph over obstacles.

Non-commissioned Senior Lieutenant Tran Thi Mai Lien (3rd from left) at the second international nursing science conference at Bach Mai Hospital

Bentiu, South Sudan, is well-known for harsh weather conditions, as it is scorching hot with temperatures sometimes reaching up to 50 degrees Celsius in the dry season. In rainy days, roads are muddy, so it is hard for people to travel. 

Working in the African country, Vietnamese peacekeepers face high risks of infected with diseases, including COVID-19, Ebola, meningitis, and malaria and being bitten by snakes and insects. They could also face unpredictable challenges of conflicts, violence, and security problems in the country.

Apart from the above-mentioned challenges, Lien and other servicewomen of the L2FH Rotation 3 have to undertake different tasks while facilities and equipment are inadequate.

Non-commissioned Senior Lieutenant Tran Thi Mai Lien in Bentiu, South Sudan

Despite these difficulties, Lien and her peers have upheld the tradition of the Vietnamese women and actively prepared to fulfill their assigned missions. Particularly, she has over the past time self-studied to enrich her English skills so as to communicate with local people and their foreign peers and update new healthcare techniques. She also updated herself on the situation of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as measures to treat infectious cases through online training programs hosted by the World Health Organization.

As a nurse, Lien is responsible for receiving and taking care of patients who are UN staff from different countries. Apart from professionalism, the young nurse is active in spreading an eco-friendly lifestyle to other members of the hospital and popularizing the Vietnamese culture and the beauty of the Vietnamese women to international friends. She often presents gifts to local people, contributing to strengthening relations between Vietnamese peacekeepers and locals.

Non-commissioned Senior Lieutenant Tran Thi Mai Lien and her colleague taking care of a patient in South Sudan

In addition, Lien wrote various articles and poems about the daily life and task performance of Vietnamese peacekeepers to post on the L2FH Rotation 3’s fan page. Her articles received much attention from the Vietnamese people and praised by leaders of the Vietnam Department of Peacekeeping Operations.

Reportedly, over the past seven years, Vietnam has sent 33 female doctors and nurses to work at the first, second and third level-2 field hospitals of Vietnam in South Sudan. Of the sum, 13 young female officers are carrying out their mission at the third L2FH.

We hoped that with their firm stance, Lien and other 12 “Lotus flowers” of the L2FH Rotation 3 will overcome all challenges to successfully fulfill all assigned missions, contributing to helping international friends know more about Vietnam, a peace-loving nation.

Translated by Tran Hoai