In order to effectively and efficiently support the development and strengthening of comprehensive rehabilitation services in partner hospitals, JICA, through the JOCV (Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteer) Section of its Vietnam Office, and HI, through its Vietnam Office formed a collaborative partnership in order to bring together complementary expertise and resources from both organizations.

At the signing ceremony

JICA commenced JOCV program in Vietnam in February 1995. The objectives of JOCV Program are to contribute their skills, knowledge and experience to the local socio-economic development by integrating themselves into local life and enhancing the friendly relations between Japan and Vietnam. JOCVs in Vietnam are active in various fields such as medical care, Japanese language instruction, education, etc.

Along with the increasing need of rehabilitation in Vietnam, the number of medical organizations requesting JOCVs in rehabilitation is also increasing. To improve the quality of rehabilitation services, JOCVs have been sharing their techniques, methods, international standard, principles of patient-centered care. They have also organized training workshops, case studies and coordinate with hospital staff to enhance rehabilitation effectiveness and raise people’s awareness of early intervention rehabilitation.

HI is operating the project “The Advancing Medical Care and Rehabilitation Education” funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) which aims to improve quality of life of people with brain lesions, especially those with stroke, traumatic brain injury, cerebral palsy and/or spina bifida/hydrocephalus, by improving access and quality of rehabilitation services.

Delegates in a group photo

The project has developed standardized medical and functional rehabilitation care guidelines and strengthened the capacity of reference centers within the Ministry of Health and the provincial Departments of Health. One of the key objectives of the project is to improve technical capacities of rehabilitation professionals in hospitals, which is done, among others, through in-service training (Continuing Medical Education). To support training follow-up and mentoring of trained staff, the project is also placing international volunteers (PT, OT, and ST) in partner hospitals to provide continuous technical support to the local service providers.

Based on the needs of the local partners, HI and JICA will collaborate in the placement of volunteers who would be involved in mentoring rehabilitation staff in order to strengthen rehabilitation services in the partner hospitals, thus bringing a better life to people with brain lesion.

JICA and HI, as well as their local partners, are very much looking forward to successful collaboration and placement of Japanese volunteers in Thua Thien - Hue and Quang Tri provinces.

Reported by Song Anh