The local stakeholder consultation workshop of the SUNI-SEA project in Ninh Binh - 2020
In 2019, the Health Strategy and Policy Institute (HSPI), in collaboration with local and international partners, has developed and implemented the project named Scaling-up NCD Interventions in South-East Asia (SUNI-SEA). The project has received financial and technical support from the European Union’s Horizon 2020. To date, the Vietnam team has completed a retrospective study and a situation assessment in some provinces. Based on the results of the retrospective phase, the team developed an intervention framework aiming to strengthen the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in the community. The project is planned to be conducted in Ninh Binh and Hai Phong.
On October 12th, 2020, a local stakeholder consultation workshop was organized in Ninh Binh. The event was co-hosted by the HSPI, the HelpAge International in Vietnam (HAIV), the Thai Nguyen University of Medicine and Pharmacy (TNUMP), and the Ninh Binh Department of Health (DOH). The objectives of the workshop were as below:
(i) to introduce the proposed interventions and stakeholders’ role in improving the efficiency of NCD prevention and control activities;
(ii) to obtain the feedback of local stakeholders on the action plan.
The participants of the workshop were the representatives of local stakeholders as follows: local authorities and health managers at all levels, including People’s Committees; the Ninh Binh DOH, district health centers (DHCs) and commune health stations (CHSs); civil society organizations (the Elderly’s Association, the Farmers’ Union, the Women’s Union); and the Intergeneration Self-Help Clubs (ISHCs)*.
In the first session, Dr. Tran Thi Mai Oanh, as the Director of the HSPI, first delivered the foundation, approach, and proposed interventions in Vietnam. She highlighted that the holistic approach is to create synergies between primary health care facilities and community-based groups (ISHCs). The Ninh Binh DOH then presented the local situation and gaps in the implementation of NCD prevention and control activities at the grassroots healthcare level. The HAIV followed up with an introduction of the organizational structure and development goals of the ISHCs network in Vietnam, focusing on the NCD interventions intended to be integrated into clubs’ activities. At the end, the HSPI presented the action plan and the expected involvement of stakeholders in implementing the interventions.
In the second session, the workshop delegates were facilitated to discuss and comment on the proposed activities and action plan. Overall, the local participants highly appreciated the feasibility and suitability of the project and stated their support and commitment to be a part of the project. Furthermore, a number of outstanding challenges were emphasized, such as insufficient supplies of medicines and health equipment needed for NCD treatment at CHSs; limited capacity of health workers; poor literacy of the community; and loose connection between primary health care facilities and local civil society groups. Accordingly, the local stakeholders suggested prioritized activities within the framework of the project, including promoting health education; building capacity for health workers and ISHCs; implementing community screening for NCDs; and strengthening the engagement of local authorities.
The launching workshop of the SUNI-SEA project in Ninh Binh was successfully conducted and obtained valuable suggestions on the proposed interventions. In the next phase, a baseline assessment will be carried out, which will provide important inputs for finalizing local-specific intervention strategies and ensuring the feasibility and effectiveness of the project in the province.
* ISHC is a model of community-based, multifunctional and sustainable solidarity groups aiming to improve older people and community’s well-being through inter-generational and self-help approaches. The model is initiated and facilitated by the HAIV. Please visit their Website for more details.