Viet Nam News
NINH BÌNH — Community-based care for the elderly, a pilot programme in the northern province of Ninh Bình, has helped hundreds of elderly people access better healthcare services.
The programme has been implemented in six communes of Yên Khánh District since 2015. It has been expected to promote the role of the elderly in society and to improve their quality of life.
After two years of implementation, the project has gained support from the local elderly, who said they experienced a happier and healthier life.
Nguyễn Thị Loan, a resident of Yên Khánh District’s Khánh Cường Commune, told Việt Nam News that she was encouraged to join the club nearly a year ago, and found it helpful and interesting. “I was guided on how to take care of my health, especially for chronic diseases that old people usually deal with, such as diabetes and high blood pressure,” she said.
Loan said that she previously stayed at home watching television most of her time. Now she walked or did exercises with other members of the association.
“It’s much more fun,” she said.
Phạm Quang Minh, chairman of the Association for the Elderly, said that the model has attracted 970 members of six communes to join poetry and gymnastic clubs.
A special club has been set up to help lonely and ill people living in the commune. This club has gained support from all the people in the commune, including young people, he said.
Annually, more than 70 per cent of the association’s members access free health check-ups and examinations, and are given financial support to buy medicines. More than 350 people have been given eye examinations so far.
Nguyễn Thị Kim Tuyến, director of the district’s Centre for Population and Family Planning, estimated that there are more than 17,000 elderly people in the district, accounting for 13 per cent of the total number of people.
Most of them live in rural areas and have no pension, thus their life is quite hard, especially for those who have serious diseases and cannot engage in agricultural production to earn their living.
Thus, the centre worked with the district’s People’s Committee to set up a programme management board to study and implement the programme effectively.
Tuyến said the programme contributed to helping 67 per cent of the elderly get health insurance and more than 16,000 get regular health check-ups. More than 70 per cent of the elderly in the district are now eager to join charity organisations.
The initial success will encourage more elderly people to join the programme and improve their lives, step-by-step, she said.
The programme of consulting and caring for the elderly in the community has been carried out by the Ministry of Health’s General Department of Population and Family Planning since 2010, in 29 cities and provinces. In Ninh Bình Province, the programme has been implemented on a trial basis in six communes in 2015 and will end in 2020. — VNS