By Nguyen Thi Hai Yen, CWS Program Officer.
Me Van Lap is a 30-year-old health worker at a small clinic in remote Than Uyen district, where CWS is partnering with local government workers so people have the chance to improve their personal health, family and environmental health and wellbeing. Though rather young, Lap has worked in the Ta Gia commune clinic for almost now years. And, due to limited district government resources, he and his colleagues have very few chances to continue their education or join training courses that can help them improve their knowledge and skills. Lap was therefore very enthusiastic to join a First Aid refresher training course hosted by CWS as part of the ELCA partnership, NEW IDEA 2, for ethnic minority communities in Vietnam.
Among many things discussed during the training course, Lap was able to learn, and help others learn, when he shared a case from his own experience. Some time ago he was caring for a young woman who was in an accident that caused head wound that he treated when she came to his clinic. The wound was a deep, open cut that was bleeding and dirty. Lap cleaned the wound with antiseptic liquid then bandaged it without cutting the girl’s long hair. Lap described his situation because he wanted a discussion of whether he was right to not cute the girl’s hair, which he knew to be very important for ethnic minority women like the injured woman. After a good discussion everyone agreed that, in all cases, proper First Aid principles must be strictly followed. So, it was confirmed Lap should have cut the girl’s hair before cleaning and bandaging the wound to avoid a possible infection. In sharing, Lap said he did not feel like he had “lost face” in the class. On the contrary, he found the training useful and was a very good opportunity for him and other health workers to sit together, share challenges, obstacles to providing good care and other concerns at work as well as to clarify best practice, gain updated knowledge and develop professional skills to better serve the people from the villages that use Ta Gia clinic.
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