On April 27th and 28th, Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) Youth Union and VinaCapital Foundation (VCF) continue to implement health examinations and treatment for children affected by Covid-19 at the Ho Chi Minh City Children’s Hospital. This meaningful activity is organized by “Care to Rise – Yêu thương Nâng bước” – a HCMC Youth Union and VCF’s program to support and provide free education assistance and health care for Covid-19 orphans and disadvantaged children affected by Covid-19 in HCMC.

The ceremony is honored to welcome representatives from Ms. Nguyen Ngoc Nhung, Standing Committee members of HCMC Youth Union and Vice Chairwoman of HCMC Young Pioneer Council; Associate Professor. PhD. Dr. Truong Quang Dinh – Director of the HCM City Children’s Hospital; Ms. Nguyen Thi Thao – Senior Manager, Student Life of RMIT University Vietnam; Supermodel Vu Thu Phuong; and Mr. Rad Kivette, CEO of VinaCapital Foundation.

As the Covid-19 pandemic continues its devastating legacy, many children have lost their parent/s and are living in extremely challenging circumstances. This vulnerable group faces hardship in every category of need, including physical health, mental health, nutrition and formal education. Since November 2021, VCF and HCMC Youth Union have implemented the Care to Rise program to access, protect, encourage and provide long-term care to Covid-19 orphans through scientific individual assessment, short-term and mid-term remedies and long-term pathways for health and success to adulthood.

The free comprehensive health examinations and treatment are the main activities in Phase 2 of the Care to Rise program. From December 2021 to January 2022, our professionally trained surveyors completed Phase 1, the individual home assessments. In February 2022, in collaboration with the HCMC Young Physicians’ Association, VCF and HCMC Youth Union examined and provided medicines to 1,031 children affected by Covid-19 in two days. The results indicate that so many children are having serious health problems such as psychiatric complications, vision problems, lack of proper nutrition, dental issues, and more. Noticeably, there are 323 children diagnosed with psychiatric problems while 248 have vision issues, and the number of children with physical health issues is 187.

From April to June 2022, the program is expected to provide additional check-ups for about 1,000 children who were not able to participate in the February health check. Therefore, VCF, HCMC Youth Union, City Children’s Hospital and RMIT University Vietnam have provided health examinations and treatment for more than 300 children on 27th and 28th April. With the support from 40 doctors, nurses and health workers together with 80 volunteers, the children have got general health check, dental checkup, oral and maxillofacial examination, eye examination, psychological checkup, musculoskeletal examination, and physical therapy. The health status of every single child are stored in the program’s database for further follow-ups and periodic checkups in the future. Free meals after the health checkup and gift sets are also prepared for our orphan children. After the health examination, there were 208 children with health problems such as problems with vision, teeth, ears, nose, throat, skeleton…, especially 5 children in need of urgent psychological intervention. The program will organize intensive follow-up visits for children from May 11 to May 13 to promptly provide essential medical support for them.

VCF and the Youth Union wish to thank our donors, health workers from HCMC Children’s Hospital, volunteers from the HCMC Youth Union and RMIT University Vietnam, celebrities, Youth Union and Young Pioneer cadres at grassroots level, and so many others who make Care to Rise possible.

Ms. Tran Thu Ha, Vice Secretary of HCMC Youth Union and Chairwoman of  HCMC Young Pioneer Council shares: “The Care to Rise program has started since November 2021 and is going through the next stages in 2022. From the results from the December 2021 survey and from the free screening for children Children affected by the Covid-19 pandemic in February 2022, the Youth Union and VCF continue to receive alarming records about their health problems. Continuing to support the children with intensive health treatment as well as providing opportunities for those who could not attend the examination in February, Youth Union, VCF and partners have coordinated to organize the second screening activity in April. We expect to be able to organize more support activities for children affected by Covid-19 so that they can have the same environment and opportunity to develop like other children. Above all, the journey ahead of Care to Rise is still very long and there will certainly be many difficulties and challenges. However, we believe that with the efforts, perseverance, and cooperation of everyone, the program will develop sustainably and expand towards the common goal of supporting the orphans to have a better future.”

Base on the survey results collected in Phase 1 and the information recorded through health examinations activity, HCMC Youth Union and VCF will devise the next step in the supporting plan for Covid-19 orphans as well as report and propose plans to protect and take care of children affected by Covid-19 to the city’s leaders and other functional authorities.”, shares Ms. Tran Thu Ha, Vice Secretary of HCMC Youth Union and Chairwoman of  HCMC Young Pioneer Council, “Care to Rise program still has a long journey ahead with a lot of difficulties and challenges. That’s why it requires persistence from the implementing units, the cooperation from the community to be able to reach its ultimate goal to foster an environment where children affected by Covid-19 can fully develop like any other children.”

“The Care to Rise program is designed to reach out directly to every Covid orphan to assess individual needs and deliver the best support package for each child.”, states Rad Kivette, CEO of VinaCapital Foundation, “With the cooperation from our dedicated and trustworthy partners, and our donors, VCF will ensure all the children get the adequate psychosocial attention, quality healthcare services, and comprehensive educational support until they are 18 years old. We are determined to leave no Covid orphan children behind.”

The Care to Rise program is divided into 3 phases with sufficient support for the children in each period of time. Phase 1 completed 1,924 detailed surveys for individual assessment. Phase 2 with remedial assistance is implementing in the next 6 to 12 months. The long-term care with health and education services, Phase 3, will carry the program through adulthood for our children.

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