Binh Phuoc Province

Binh Phuoc Province: Yen Nhi, Right and Timely Support Changes Life

Yen Nhi, who could barely walk two years ago, now can ride a bicycle

Yen Nhi, who could barely walk two years ago, now can ride a bicycle

Yen Nhi is a 9-year-old girl born to a family in Binh Phuoc that pledged by disabilities. Her father, grandfather and uncle are living with disabilities.  For many years, Nhi kept falling down and get injured when walking without knowing why. The local hospital and family thought she is a victim of malnutrition.  Nhi’s situation has become a burden to the poor family.  She relies mainly on the grandfather and the uncle, both have difficulties themselves, as the father works away from home.

In April 2016, Nhi went through a clinical assessment by a VNAH’s team of national and international rehabilitation professionals.  Only then the family learnt that Nhi has a scoliosis that affects her standing, walking and leg’s strength.  The therapists informed that if Nhi is not intervened correctly and timely, she would get worse and harder to rehabilitate.

Right after that, our therapists started an intensive treatment program for Nhi, which includes therapies at hospital and at home, with a focus on correcting and straightening the spine and improving the strength of the lower limbs.  Our bio-medical engineers visited Nhi’s home, designed and made a table that helps her in sitting for meal and for school’s home-works.   Her grandfather also helped with the treatment. He printed out and posted on the board pictures of therapy/exercise so Nhi can follow and practice under his supervision. Our therapists and local health providers conducted regular follow ups at home to provide therapy and evaluation of Nhi’s progress.

The support gains result after a five-month: Nhi has begun to walk firmer, with less time of falling.   She can even ride a bicycle, which she dared not do before, but now has become a favorite.  Everyone in the family is happy. 

The grandfather, her main caregiver, told us “it is a big relief” for them to see Nhi is getting better, not worse as they thought in the past.  “she can continue school”, he added.

This is one of the many positive stories of the DIRECT project- which is a USAID funded project implemented by VNAH and local partners - has a goal to provide rehabilitation services to 4,000 beneficiaries, and to build up rehabilitation service capacity in Tay Ninh and Binh Phuoc, including setting up rehabilitation units and training for 5,400 service providers, in a five year period, from 2016 to 2020.

Binh Phuoc Province: Tran Thanh Tam

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   Tran Thanh Tam was showing his motor skills   to the experts in the 2nd clinical examination.

Tran Thanh Tam was showing his motor skills to the experts in the 2nd clinical examination.

Tran Thanh Tam, born in 1985, suffers from Down syndrome. He lives in Tan Xuan ward, Dong Xoai town, Binh Phuoc province. Fortunately, after taking health check in the 2nd clinical examination at the Binh Phuoc Traditional Medicine Hospital, Tam was concluded that he does not have many serious problems with his physical movements. 

Indeed, Tam can slowly walk and take care of his own activities of daily living. However, he would like to communicate with people in the surroundings, but interaction is his greatest obstacle in life. He tries to express his thoughts to the family and friends even though it is hard for them to understand. 

As a wonderful idea, in order to improve his abilities, the experts who were invited to give him a health check gave some advice to his family that he should be taught how to use cellphones, be in touch with people, especially his family using verbal action. Moreover, Tam should be motivated by his mother when he does something right at home. For example, the mother can praise him up when he is able to step by step take a shower or motivate him to speak significant short sentences such as I am hungry, I want to eat and play with friends.

As a result, Tam has become more confident when interacting with people. Now he is no longer afraid of walking upstairs, and he can easily adapt to new exercises that he practices every day at home with the encouragement of the family. Tam does not need follow-up activity according to the experts’ opinions, but all believe that he can increase his abilities in short future and create his good routines following the timetable.