“Please save my child,” rang the agonizing plea of the young H’Mong couple in the desolated corridors of the Phong Tho District Medical Center, Lai Chau province.

The baby in the story is Xuan Thuong, the firstborn of a young teenage couple living in Sin Ho district, a border district of Lai Chau province. The couple is not only young but also from an ethnic minority, making their knowledge of proper childcare largely limited. So when Xuan Thuong turned feverish and suffered from a severe cough, Thuong’s parents decided to handle the situation by having Thuong take traditional medications 3 times a day, its ingredients unknown. Despite being born healthy, Xuan Thuong’s health soon took a downturn. Until purple marks around the lips and the nose began to show up on the baby’s face, accompanied by loud cries, on October 18, 2022, the family panicked and took Thuong to Phong Tho District Medical Center. Xuan Thuong was diagnosed with severe pneumonia and traditional medicine poisoning.

Fortunately for Thuong and his family, prior to his hospitalization, on August 19, 2022, the Survive to Thrive program by VinaCapital Foundation (VCF) sponsored 6 essential pieces of medical equipment for neonatal emergency resuscitation including a continuous positive pressure ventilator (CPAP), infusion pump, electric injection pump, patient monitor and blood oxygen meter (SPO2) for Phong Tho District Medical Center; with the total value up to 420 million VND. In the face of the baby’s emergency, doctors here quickly monitored Xuan Thuong’s vitals and used an infusion pump to infuse the baby with the appropriate dose in an effort to maximize his treatment efficacy. After 7 days of continuous monitoring, Xuan Thuong’s health was gradually stabilizing and he was discharged back home with the joy and relief of his parents.

Xuan Thuong’s case is one among more than 123,800 cases of serious illness treated with essential medical equipment sponsored by the Survive to Thrive program since its inception in 2010. Without these pieces of equipment, sick infants would have to travel an extremely long and arduous road to get quality care. This not only worsens the baby’s critical condition but also puts great economic pressure on the patient’s family, especially for ethnic minorities and poor households in remote areas such as Lai Chau province.

With each donated device, we aspire to help Phong Tho District Medical Center, in particular, and many regional centers and rural hospitals, in general, to increase their maximum capacities for life-saving, thus contributing toward the reduction of infant mortality rates across Vietnam. This is the motivation for us to continue on our path, and we do hope for your support and joining hands in actualizing our mission of bringing health to children – the future generation of the country.

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