Thorough preparations help Việt Nam's field hospitals win high UN evaluation

January 09, 2023 - 08:41
Since June 2014, the Việt Nam People’s Army has sent a total of 516 officers and professional soldiers to UN peacekeeping operations in South Sudan, the Central African Republic, the Abyei Area, and the UN headquarters.
Sixty three officers of Việt Nam's Level-2 field hospitals No.2 & No.3 in Bentiu, South Sudan, receive the United Nations Peacekeeping Medal in March 2022. — Photo from Việt Nam Department of Peacekeeping Operations

HÀ NỘI — Thorough preparations for Việt Nam’s Level-2 field hospitals at the United Nations peacekeeping mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) have helped Vietnamese personnel fulfill duties and earn high evaluation from the UN and international partners.

Since June 2014, the Việt Nam People’s Army has sent a total of 516 officers and professional soldiers to UN peacekeeping operations in South Sudan, the Central African Republic, the Abyei Area, and the UN headquarters.

In particular, four Level-2 field hospitals have been deployed to South Sudan since October 2018.

Upholding the achievements by the three previous hospitals, Level-2 Field Hospital Rotation 4, officially put into operation in early May 2022, has impressed international clinicians through medical examination and treatment for many patients in South Sudan. The facility helps to popularise Việt Nam as a peace-loving nation in the eyes of international colleagues.

To prepare for the tasks in South Sudan, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the 63 members of Field Hospital Rotation 4 underwent extensive training in military medicine, foreign language, and pre-deployment preparation. They were equipped with not only specialised knowledge but also skills in responding to possible risks and challenges.

Maj. Gen. Nguyễn Xuân Kiên, director of the Hanoi-based Việt Nam Military Medical University, which is in charge of Level-2 field hospitals Rotation 2 and 4, said the university coordinated closely with the Việt Nam Department of Peacekeeping Operations for reporting and gaining experience in the field. The facility has been readied to handle unexpected difficulties, and carry out communications to perform tasks.

Before leaving for UNMISS, the hospital staff had been vaccinated against some diseases such as COVID-19, hepatitis B, pneumonia, and meningitis and taken malaria prevention medications at the request of the UN.

The university coordinated with the Australian Embassy in Việt Nam to open foreign language training courses for hospital personnel. All key members obtained IELTS scores of at least 5.5, and even as high as 7.5, he said.

The official went on to say that the quality of field hospital personnel was high. The university still identified specialised training in medicine as a key task. Medical training focuses on the duties to be performed at the UN mission such as internal medicine, surgery, treatment of communicable diseases, disease prevention, and emergency medicine.

Staff members of the field hospitals were also trained in air emergency aid, international trauma life support, advanced trauma life support, and skills in dealing with a large number of casualties and common communicable diseases. They also received training in politics, military, logistics, and peacekeeping, Kiên said.

The training time, including theory and practice, for staff of a Level-2 field hospital is about 500 hours, he added.

UN and UNMISS assessments approved Level-2 field hospitals of Việt Nam as having excellently fulfilled duties.

Experience gained over nearly five years of Level-2 field hospital deployment to South Sudan has helped affirm the Party and State’s consistent and judicious policies, thus promoting trust, understanding, and cooperation between Việt Nam and international friends. — VNS