Introducing the US Quality Improvement Process to Nursing Faculty at University Dong A

Danang City, Vietnam - VNAH arranged for two senior American health professionals to visit the University Dong A (UDA) and lead a seminar on Quality Improvement (QI) for nursing faculty and other members of the University and health services community. Dr. Mary Segall, a Nurse Educator specializing in Quality Improvement and Prof. Mellen Tanamly, a Public Health Nutritionist were the invited speakers.  The seminar was held at the main UDA campus conference hall in Danang City, Vietnam, on January, 2017. This event was part of the VNAH and UDA partnership to introduce American practices into the Nursing Department curriculum.

Improving the quality of health services provided in the private and public health sectors in Viet Nam is one of the aims of ASHA support to VNAH and UDA. The project was implemented during period from 10/2014-9/2016, with a goal to improve capacity to meet the growing needs for quality higher education services and market demands for skilled workers in the central region of Vietnam.   The project specific objective was to improve the capacity for, and access to higher education and vocational training to ensure young people and the vulnerable populations receive industry-driven training and needed skill sets for employment.

The UDA now is able to offer training at its own facilities equipped like a real operation or business, which gives students practical work opportunities which prepare them for jobs in the industries for which they have been trained.  As a result, the UDA has seen steep increases in enrollments, especially in the three majors that the ASHA has provided commodities to.  The new enrollment in this school year (2016-2017) increased by 65% (from 915 to 1,510 students) in nursing program; and 88% in the electrical program (from 199 to 375 students); and 14% in the hospitality management (from 277 to 315 students), compared to previous years.    Prior to the project, these programs have an average increase of 10% annually.  These results are strong indicators of the project successes in capacity building for the UDA.

The speakers introduced American quality improvement concepts to nursing faculty and other invited guests. Dr. Segall presented “Building a Foundation for Improved Quality at Hospitals and Health Centers: The Role of the Nurse”. This was an overview quality improvement processes and tools that are used globally to strengthen health care services for better patient outcomes. Session Objectives were: to increase knowledge about safety and quality improvement; how to initiate a QI project in your setting: a review of selected priorities from data about Sustainable Goals & indicators of a package of health care services; to increase appreciation for the importance of measurement and monitoring in QI; to learn about a culture of innovation; learn about the Role of Quality Improvement Teams, the Role of the Nurse, & Use of Improvement Collaborative; and to learn about resources faculty can utilize for teaching QI. Ms. Tanamly discussed the application of quality improvement approaches to infant and young child feeding programs in Viet Nam.

The seminar was well attended by all senior and junior nursing faculty, other UDA officials, representatives of Ministry of Health and private health facilities, and UDA nursing students.  Following the event, the consultants met with the President of the University and the Dean of the Nursing School to discuss faculty development strategies.

1 (42).jpg

Rural Development

Helping Ethnic Minorities in the Central Highlands

VNAH and HealthEd recognize that the ethnic minority population concentrated in the Central Highlands are among the poorest and most in need of assistance of any group in Viet-Nam. They often lack adequate schools, health clinics, or means to earn a living wage. Few outside donors or international non-governmental organizations operate in these areas. These are the reasons VNAH and HealthEd have decided to work closely with the local provincial departments of labor, invalids and social affairs to provide assistance to the ethnic minority populations.  Direct contributions have been the principal source permitting VNAH and HealthEd to address these concerns.  With the assistance and cooperation of the local authorities, VNAH and HealthEd have recently provided 10 computers to the boarding high school, completed a midwife training program, a new kindergarten, and several water wells.

Midwife Training

The midwife training course is a joint project of HealthEd and the Medical School of the Kon Tum Province Department of Health. The course provides thirty ethnic minority village healthcare workers in the Province with basic knowledge of health care, hygiene, pre and post-natal care, delivery procedures, and nutrition.

The village healthcare workers who participated in the training course were from remote mountainous villages where health care facilities, medical skills, and medicine are scarce.  The indigenous women depend on midwives at the time of birth.  There is a high infant mortality rate in the region since few, if any, of the traditional midwives have had any formal medical training.  The issue is further complicated by a lack of health care facilities, medical skills, and medicines.

During a brief completion ceremony last October, HealthEd provided each trainee a first-aid kit of medical supplies consisting of a scale, stethoscope, scissors, bandages and other basic sterile instruments.

Schools Opening in Khe Sanh and Nui Thanh

HealthEd and VNAH provided funding and coordination in the construction of two elementary schools during the past summer.  Both were turnkey projects and provide a place of education for over 800 students from 6 – 13 years of age.

The Tich Tay Elementary School in Nui Thanh district, Quang Nam Province, was delivered to local education authorities in August 2002.  A ribbon-cutting ceremony took place with the participation of local officials and Mr. Nghiem Xuan Tue, Vice Director of the International Relations Department of the Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA).

The second school was completed and delivered on October 3, 2002. The Tan Hop Elementary School in Khe Sanh, Quang Tri Province (DMZ) will serve more than 400 children, about 35% of whom are ethnic minorities.  The school has a large playground and a barrier-free access ramp for children with disabilities.   
The U.S. Ambassador to Viet-Nam, Mr. Raymond Burghardt, joined with local officials and the representative from MOLISA, Mr. Nghiem Xuan Tue, Vice Director of the International Relations Department, at the ribbon cutting ceremony. 

Ambassador Burghardt and the American Chamber of Commerce in Ha Noi have contributed $1,500 to VNAH/HealthEd to construct a well on the school’s property to provide clean water for the children. 

Portable Water and Improved Education for Ethnic Minorities

To promote better health and education of ethnic minorities VNAH and HealthEd donated ten computers to Kon Ray Boarding High School, constructed ten village water supply systems and a kindergarten school in the mountainous Kon Tum Province villages of Ngoc Tem and Dak Rve. 

Each new water system includes a well, an electric pump, and a storage tank. The ten wells will benefit over 1,000 people. The wells will provide safe clean drinking water to these communities, thus reducing the threat of waterborne diseases.

In September 2002, VNAH & HealthEd funded a kindergarten, which will serve approximately 50 children from Dak Rve Commune. This school will be supplied with a well water system, teaching aids and toys.