Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) Youth Union and VinaCapital Foundation (VCF) launch the free health examinations for children affected by Covid-19 on February 26th and 27th at the HCMC Youth Culture House. This meaningful activity is organized by “Care to Rise – Yêu thương Nâng bước” – HCMC Youth Union and VCF’s program to support and provide free health care for Covid-19 orphans and disadvantaged children affected by Covid-19 in HCMC.
The launch ceremony is honored to welcome representatives from the Central Committee of the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union, the City Committee for Mass Mobilization, the City Department of Labor – Invalids and Social Affairs, the City Women’s Union, the HCMC Youth Union – Ms. Tran Thu Ha, Vice Secretary and Chairwoman of HCMC Young Pioneer Council; the VinaCapital Foundation – Mr. Rad Kivette, CEO.
As the Covid-19 pandemic continues its devastating legacy, a huge number of children have lost their parent/s and are living in extremely challenging circumstances. These vulnerable groups are facing 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 more than 2,400 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 are one of the main activities in Phase 2 of the Care to Rise program. Our professionally trained surveyors have completed Phase 1, the individual home assessments. In collaboration with the HCMC Young Physicians’ Association, VCF and HCMC Youth Union expect to examine and provide medicines to children affected by Covid-19 in two days with the support of 44 doctors, 100 volunteers, and other stakeholders. The healthcare clinic will begin with a general health check. The children that have more complex health issues will be provided further comprehensive examinations with specialists including dental checkups, eye examination, chest x-ray, psychological checkups, nutrition checkups, echocardiography, abdominal ultrasound, and physical therapy. The health status of every single child will be stored in the program’s database for further follow-ups and periodic checkups in the future. Phase 3 includes the future pathway forward to adulthood for each child.
Besides the business of health examinations, there are numerous fun activities for the children during the event like painting, coloring, puzzles, free hair-cutting, learning Zumba dance, and counseling to receive support from the “Blue shirt tutor” program. VCF and HCMC Youth Union also prepare free meals after the health checkup, gift sets, and books for all children. On the occasion of the Vietnamese Doctor’s Day on 27th February, VCF wants to express our sincere appreciation to the HCMC Young Physicians’ Association, the doctors and medical staff who volunteer to implement the healthcare clinic as well as all the health workers across the country for their dedication to a healthier and stronger Vietnam.
In addition to the doctors, VCF and the Youth Union wish to thank our donors, volunteers from the HCMC National University, celebrities, Youth Union and Young Pioneer cadres at the grassroots level, and so many others who make Care to Rise possible.
“The Care to Rise program has been implemented for 4 months already. Although the time span is short, all the work have been done, especially the home surveys for nearly 2,000 children, shows a great and prompt effort of the Youth Union, VCF, and youth and young pioneer organizations at the grassroots level. Based 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 a very scientific approach to the kind of trauma and long-term loss of support that has been the result of the pandemic in Vietnam. We want to be sure that every child gets the appropriate psychosocial attention, quality healthcare services, and suitable educational support until they are 18 years old.”, states Rad Kivette, CEO of VinaCapital Foundation, “We hope to receive more cooperation and contributions from the community to be able to take care and provide essential support to these disadvantaged children so that they will not grow up as a lost generation. We are determined to leave no child behind.”
Since its inception, Care to Rise program has completed 1,924 detailed surveys and the database indicates that 66% of the orphans are 12 years of age or less, 78% of the children have anxiety disorders – 6% are severe. Eyes/vision are very serious problems with myopia affecting 75% of the children; 72% will require glasses to correct their vision. Nutrition is a problem that requires food supplements now and future training to change caregiver behavior – as many as 45% of the children fall into this undernourished category. Phase 1 is completed, phase 2, remedial assistance will be carried out 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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