|Dr Ngô Thị Hải Vân, head of the Department of Occupational Health and Non-Communicable Disease Control of the Central Highlands Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology, delivers a presentation on improving the community's healthcare at a conference in Đắk Lắk Province. Photo yte.daklak.gov.vn|
ĐẮK NÔNG – During her 27 years in the medical profession and 14 years in preventive medicine, Dr Ngô Thị Hải Vân has chased only one purpose: contributing to the healthcare of ethnic minorities.
As head of the Department of Occupational Health and Non-Communicable Disease Control of the Central Highlands Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology, she has had ample opportunity to do so.
In 2015, Vân and her research team carried out a project on the health status of ethnic minorities in disadvantaged areas of Đắk Nông Province.
The project focused on the health status of Châu Mạ, M'nông, Êđê, Nùng and Mông ethnic minorities in Đắk Nông Province, such as vaccination in children under five years old, reproductive health care of married women aged between 15 and 49, and sanitation facilities in ethnic minority areas.
Based on the project’s results, the research team proposed several solutions, such as policies to attract doctors to work in remote and isolated areas, enhancing the role of local health workers and midwives, improving knowledge, changing attitudes and behaviours of local people, and investing in medical facilities and equipment of emergency treatment for pregnant women and new-born babies.
In addition, the research team also proposed to improve education to change people’s behaviour regarding clean water, environmental sanitation, and personal hygiene.
Apart from scientific research, Vân suggested activities to prevent occupational diseases for employees and non-communicable diseases, including heart disease, strokes, cancer, diabetes, and chronic lung disease in five cities and provinces of the Central Highlands.
Vân supported many health clinics in managing occupational hygiene and supervising establishments with unsafety risks for workers. She also implemented health checks and gave early detection of occupational diseases for labourers working in hazardous conditions.
In 2022, more than 3,500 employees were examined for early detection of occupational diseases.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the unit implemented an assessment of the infection risk of COVID-19 at work for employees in five cities and provinces of Central Highland.
Vân, as well as 11 doctors, volunteered to join the special working group of the Ministry of Health to support Tây Ninh Province when the COVID-19 pandemic was complicated.
“The number of cases increased day by day," she said. "We immediately worked with local pandemic prevention and control forces to quickly divide into small groups and support local health staff.”
Vân did all the jobs; supporting local health staff at laboratories, training health staff in tracing and isolating F0 cases.
After nearly two months, the pandemic was under control.
Vân said this was the most memorable time of her 14 years in preventive medicine.
“I feel happy because I can contribute to the community during such a difficult and challenging time,” she said.
Vân is among 51 outstanding female intellectuals in the medical sector honoured at a ceremony held by the Ministry of Health on the occasion of International Women's Day, March 8. – VNS