Viet Nam has one of the highest disability rates in the world. Over five million Vietnamese (over 6% of the population) have a disability. Viet Nam is listed as a nation having one of the world’s lowest incomes and highest rates of disability per capita. Some estimates hold that there are from 5 million to ten million disabled in Viet Nam. To directly address the needs of Vietnam’s disabled citizens, VNAH manufactured and delivered of over 33,000 prosthetic and orthotic devices (limbs and braces). Despite this, the need remains immense with many war victims still unserved and many new cases from accidents and only recently exploded land mines. VNAH conducts regular outreach missions to rural communities to provide wheelchairs and limbs to those amputees too poor to travel to a urban area Clinic. VNAH works with the Prosthetic and Rehabilitation Centers in Can Tho, Danang, Qui Nhon and Ho Chi Minh City to provide training and technical assistance to help improve the overall quality of assistive devices delivered.
USAID and Private Foundations Help Provide Mobility for Individuals with Disabilities
Currently VNAH prosthetics and wheelchair programs (supported by the USAID, the Freeman Foundation and the Nippon Foundation) are being implemented in all 61 provinces of Viet-Nam, with priority given to the needy areas of the Mekong Delta and Central Regions. For the last 10 years VNAH has delivered approximately 48,000 assistive devices to the people in Viet-Nam. The outreach program has reached the most distant and remote places in the water dominant communes of the Mekong such as Kien Giang and Dong Thap as well as the mountainous villages in the Central Highlands, the Dak Lak, Gia Lai and Kon Tum Provinces.
So far in 2002, VNAH has delivered approximately 6,000 assistive devices including prostheses, orthoses (braces) and wheelchairs to Vietnamese people with disabilities. VNAH works with regional Prosthetic Centers in Can Tho, Ho Chi Minh City, Qui Nhon, Da-Nang and Thanh Hoa in the prosthetics and rehabilitation program. We also work with one state-owned and three private wheelchair manufacturers. The production and delivery is carried out with the strong support and cooperation of the Ministry and local Departments of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs, as well as other local agencies and groups of people with disabilities.
VNAH Continues Technical Support for Can Tho Prosthetics and Rehab Center
With funding support from U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), VNAH continues to provide technical support to Can Tho Prosthetics and Rehabilitation Center. Jean Claude Vesan, a certified prosthetist and orthotist (CPO) was recently hired to head the technical training program. He trained the Vietnamese technicians at the Can Tho Center and on outreach projects to improve the quality and fitting of the devices and the techniques to fabricate limbs and braces with polypropylene (PP). The project targets the disabled population of the 11 provinces in the Mekong Delta region.