Dramatically increasing capacity for pediatric and cardiac care through the provision of equipment and training.
In most developing countries like Vietnam, we have seen firsthand how access to care is limited to those who can pay. For a child with heart disease or another life-threatening serious illness, there are many roadblocks to care. The parents have no money and no way to get to the hospitals in the major cities that could care for their children. In Vietnam the long trek to Ho Chi Minh City, Hue, or Hanoi is too far and too expensive for many rural families.
The capacity for caring for children with heart disease and other serious illnesses is limited to the big cities in Vietnam. The provincial and district hospitals don’t have the intensive care equipment to deal with a crisis. The doctors do not have the knowledge or equipment to deal with the disease or the ability to stabilize and transport to regional pediatric hospitals or heart centers. Diagnostic testing necessary for proper treatment is usually only available in the major cities.
Infrastructure and basic medical knowledge already exist in Vietnam, and we can immediately and dramatically increase capacity for pediatric and cardiac care by adding equipment and providing training. We still see the critical need for additional pediatric hospitals across the country, however, particularly the central region, the Mekong Delta region, and the highland areas.