VNAH: Construction of New Rehabilitation Unit in Tân Biên District, Tây Ninh Province

VNAH Team in Tân Biên District, Tây Ninh Province on May 12, 2016.

Tân Biên District, Tây Ninh province - On May 12, 2016, VNAH started the construction of a rehabilitation unit in Tan Bien District. The special project is funded by the Japanese Consulate General in HCMC (Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Project - GGP). This would be the first time VNAH able to secured direct support from the Japanese Government in program to assist Vietnamese war victims including children and adults affected by Agent Orange/Dioxin. The Project will complement current VNAH's DIRECT program under USAID/Vietnam's Disability support and development strategy (…/USAID-Vietnam-Disabilities-Assistan…).

This rehabilitation center will provide walk-in and outreach services to more than 6,000 people with disabilities in Tan Bien and surrounding districts

VNAH Press Release - USAID / ASHA Project Kick Off, Tam Ky, Quang Nam

Quang Nam – Vietnam, January 29, 2015 -- The American Schools and Hospitals Abroad (ASHA) Program of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the Vietnam Assistance for the Handicapped (VNAH) and Dong A University (UDA) have partnered to improve training capacity and expand educational opportunities for vulnerable groups in Quang Nam province. The parties announced the project today in Tam Ky City of Quang Nam province.

“This USAID-supported project will facilitate sharing of American ideas in education and technology with Vietnamese institutions. It will also further VNAH’s mission to improve the quality of life and access to basic services for people with disabilities and ethnic minorities in Vietnam in general, and for those in Quang Nam Province in particular”, said Ca Van Tran, VNAH President.

With this USAID/ASHA project, Dong A University will be supported to improve its capacity for training in hospitality, electrical engineering and nursing to meet the growing demands of services and productive sectors in the area. The Project will support equipment needed for practical education, and develop partnerships between Dong A University and American educational institutions to improve capacity at UDA for curriculum development, teaching and other specific issues. The project will also expand educational opportunities for students with disabilities and students from ethnic minorities, the vulnerable groups that are most likely to face more challenges in access to education. “This project will greatly contribute to improving training capacity at Dong A University and human resource development in Quang Nam and to the national goal of increasing the quality of higher education.” said UDA Rector, Ms. Dao Nguyen.

The $500,000, two-year project will be implemented by VNAH, an international NGO operating in Vietnam since 1991. Over the past 10 years, VNAH has built 28 elementary schools, worth roughly U$1.2 million in rural and mountainous areas of Quang Nam province. VNAH has also provided assistive devices, rehabilitation services and livelihood assistance for several thousand disabled people in Quang Nam.

In addition to this project, USAID is currently supporting another disability project focused on capacity building for a disabled people’s association, direct assistance in rehabilitation services and creating jobs for people with disabilities in Quang Nam province.

Vietnam enacts its first Disability Law

McLean, VA -- On June 17, 2010, the National Assembly of Vietnam enacted the first comprehensive national law guaranteeing the rights of people with disabilities. The new law mandates equal participation in society for people with disabilities through accommodation and access to health care, rehabilitation, education, employment, vocational training, cultural services, sports and entertainment, transportation, public places, and information technology. This law, drafted with the support of U.S. funded technical assistance, is expected to have a direct impact on the growth of Vietnam’s economy, as inclusive policies expand opportunities for Vietnamese with disabilities to be productive and achieve economic independence.

The National Disability Law is the culmination of an intensive effort of more than a decade to develop a legal framework for an inclusive society where people with disabilities have access to the programs and supports necessary for their full participation. This effort began with the passage of the national Ordinance on People with Disabilities in 1998, and led to a series of initiatives to advance the rights and interests of people with disabilities, including:

  • Establishment of the inter-agency National Coordinating Council on Disability (NCCD)

  • Enactment of the barrier-free access code and standards for public construction

  • Enactment of barrier-free access standards and regulations for public transport

  • Disability inclusion provisions in the Vocational Training Law

  • Implementation of a five-year National Action Plan on disability.

These achievements in policy reform and implementation have brought direct benefits to more than 7 million Vietnamese with disabilities, and indirectly benefitted several million more. The Vietnamese government is set to begin work this summer to develop a regulatory framework and implementation guidance for the new law.

Vietnam Assistance for the Handicapped (VNAH) has provided significant support to the Vietnamese government in bringing about these pivotal reforms through a series of grant initiatives funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and targeted program funds from the Nippon Foundation. VNAH and its international technical partners have been at the forefront of the disability law effort, providing technical assistance to the legal drafting team, promoting the alignment of Viet Nam’s disability law with the U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the U.S ADA, supporting grassroots review and input to the law’s development, as well as exposing Vietnam’s policy-makers and legislators to international good practices on disability rights through international exchange. VNAH will continue to work in partnership with the Government of Vietnam as it implements the National Disability Law.

VNAH Announces New Grants from USAID and Ford Foundation for Projects in Vietnam


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VNAH Announces New Grants from USAID and Ford Foundation for Projects in Vietnam

Activities to Focus on Comprehensive Rehabilitation Services to People with Disabilities in Danang city, Kon tum and Binh Dinh Provinces

McLean, VA, October 14, 2008 – Viet-Nam Assistance for the Handicapped (VNAH) received two new grants from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Ford Foundation for humanitarian projects in central Vietnam. 

  • The three-year, USAID grant will strengthen the service and create a comprehensive rehabilitation service network based in Danang city.
  • The two-year grant from the Ford Foundation will aim to improve the health and economic well being of people with disabilities in Binh Dinh and Kon Tum Provinces.  This is a part of the Ford Foundation’s Special Initiative on Agent Orange/Dioxin.

The American Rehabilitation Clinic, which was recently built with a special funding from USAID/ASHA at the Binh Dan General Hospital in Danang city, will be used as a hub to link with seven district health centers in the region.  Key components of the USAID-funded project include developing the capacity for case management services, implementing a referral mechanism, training a network of community-based rehabilitation collaborators, and facilitating the exchange of technical skills and knowledge between the U.S. and Vietnam. 

Along with comprehensive rehabilitation services, the project will also provide socio-economic support to people with disabilities in the Danang area through assisting in the formation of self-help and mutual support groups, as well as increasing access to available programs such as grants or loans, skills training and employment, and other resources.

In the initiative supported by the Ford Foundation, VNAH will provide needed health, social and economic assistance and services to people with disabilities. The project will be based in Binh Dinh and Kon Tum provinces.  Ca Van Tran, President of VNAH stressed that “VNAH will make a special attempt to engage the overseas Vietnamese community and other organizations and will also support capacity-building initiatives for local service providers to ensure sustainability beyond the two-year period of the grant.”  

VNAH will work with the local Departments of Health, and Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs of Danang city, Binh Dinh and Kon Tum Provinces as well as other relevant organizations to implement these programs.

US Doctors Set to Travel to Vietnam to Assist Physicians in Danang City

First Technical Assistance Visit Part of USAID/American Schools and Hospitals Abroad-Funded Humanitarian Effort

McLean, VA - February, 2007 - - Next month, physicians and rehabilitation specialists from Washington, D.C., will travel to Danang City, Vietnam, to provide the first round of technical assistance to doctors and clinical staff as part of the first humanitarian project in Vietnam funded by American Schools and Hospitals Abroad, a congressionally mandated USAID program.  

The project, coordinated by Viet-Nam Assistance for the Handicapped, will construct a two-story rehabilitation clinic as part of the 100-bed Danang Binh Dan General Hospital, Vietnam's first private hospital. A significant piece of this project is to provide technical assistance through training seminars, workshops and study tours that focus on rehabilitative surgeries, medicine and other technologies.

Several U.S. doctors and therapists from the Medstar Health partnership between Georgetown University Hospital and the National Rehabilitation Hospital have volunteered their time and experience to assist in this humanitarian effort.

"It is an honor to be part of the ongoing effort to provide medical care for the people of Vietnam," said Dr. Scott T. Sauer, an orthopaedic surgeon at Georgetown University Hospital. "This historic visit will open the door for the improved rehabilitation of patients after injury or surgery." 

"Everyone associated with this project is very excited to interact with the citizens and healthcare providers in Vietnam, and to build a long-term relationship to impact their healthcare needs," stated Dr. Paul Wang, clinical manager of NRH Regional Rehab at Georgetown University Hospital.

When completed later this year, the Rehabilitation Clinic at the Danang Binh Dan General Hospital will provide charitable care to patients, as well as serve Danang City as a demonstration and training center for physical therapists, physicians and nurses in a U.S.-based model of diagnostic and therapeutic care. It will also address the tremendous shortage of quality rehabilitation services for the urban population of Danang City as well as the ethnic minority populations in rural areas. Currently, many men, women and children in the region suffer from mobility and other problems often the result of landmines or war injuries that can be treated and, in some cases, cured if quality care is made available to them.

Vietnam Assistance for the Handicapped (VNAH) is a non-profit, non-political organization dedicated to meeting priority humanitarian and development needs in Vietnam. VNAH projects focus on helping people with disabilities lead rewarding and productive lives that include the ability to fully participate in their nation and their community social and economic affairs. 

Assistive Devices

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. 

National Policy and Programs for the Disabled

One of the most exciting developments in VNAH’s efforts to assist the disabled is theOffice of Disabilities Technical Assistance (ODTA) in Hanoi.  VNAH, in partnership with the United States President’s Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities, has embarked on a program to assist the efforts of the Vietnamese government to improve and update Vietnamese national policies and programs that benefit the disabled. VNAH works with its Vietnamese counterparts has provided technical assistance to support the enactment of that country’s first comprehensive Ordinance on Disabled Persons. 

With funding from the United States Agency for International Development we are now working to provide technical assistance and support to the relevant agencies of the Vietnamese Government for the implementation of priority provisions of that law.  Special attention is being directed to barrier-free access, the employment of people with disabilities and the strengthening of groups of and for the disabled.  We are particularly pleased that John Lancaster, the former Executive Director of the United States President’s Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities, has now assumed the position of Director ofthe ODTA, our office in Hanoi that helps guide and coordinate this important effort.