Volunteers on the frontline

by NDO26 July 2021 Last updated at 19:00 PM

COVID-19 testing at the southern branch of Vietnam - Russia Tropical Centre in Ho Chi Minh City. (Photo: Manh Linh)
COVID-19 testing at the southern branch of Vietnam - Russia Tropical Centre in Ho Chi Minh City. (Photo: Manh Linh)

VTV.vn - The fight against the COVID-19 epidemic in Ho Chi Minh City has drawn the significant contributions of volunteers from many provinces and cities around the country.

Many are very young doctors, nurses and technicians and students who have great enthusiasm. They are not afraid of difficulties and have volunteered for the frontline to help the City overcome the pandemic.

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Aworking delegation from the Vietnam – Russia Tropical Centre under the Ministry of Defence have been supporting Ho Chi Minh City in its testing work for three weeks. Since joining the delegation to the City, Doctor Duong Van Nghia finishes his work at 2-3am almost every day. He shared: “The delegation consists of three female members so they are prioritised for working on the day shifts. I and others are in charge of the evening shift. During the days with a lot of samples, we work until 4 am”. Not long ago, he also joined a delegation from the centre to fight against the epidemic in Bac Giang Province.

Doctor Hoang Duc Hau, from the Director of the Centre for Hi-tech Research and Treatment of the Institute of Tropical Biomedicine under the Vietnam – Russia Tropical Centre said: “The centre previously joined in the combat against the epidemic in Da Nang City, Quang Binh and Bac Giang Provinces and in several other localities. With a lot of accumulated experience, the delegation, with seven comrades, went on to Ho Chi Minh City. We coordinated with the unit's working group in Ho Chi Minh City to form a group of 16 members directly involved in epidemic prevention and control. The unit was assigned to conduct sample testing in District 10 and Phu Nhuan District. As of July 24, after 20 days in Ho Chi Minh City, the unit has received 13,632 samples, equivalent to more than 118 people, and found 923 positive cases”.

Volunteers to Ho Chi Minh City to fight against the epidemic consist of students from universities and colleges in various provinces and cities around the country. With over 300 students the Hai Duong University of Medical Technology was one of the schools with the strongest support force for the anti-epidemic work in the City and also one of the earliest units to travel there.

The City is happy, the whole country is happy

Volunteering in Ho Chi Minh City, Doctor Tran Duc Ly, head of the medical delegation from Ha Nam Province has determined that this is a long-term "war". The delegation consists of 40 people, including 8 doctors, 27 nurses and five technicians assigned to work at Field Hospital No. 9 in Hoc Mon District. He said that this was a force with good experience in epidemic prevention and control, with many doctors and medical workers having also participated in the anti-epidemic fight in Bac Giang and Ha Nam.

On their first day at Field Hospital No. 9, the delegation received nearly 100 patients. All doctors and nurses have regularly had to work until 2am. “With the number of patients being up to 700 every day, we are determined to do all our work, regardless of the time needed”, added Doctor Ly.

Nurse Nguyen Thi Hong Phuong (from Ha Nam Province) said that she received great support and encouragement from her family. With her experience following more than 20 years of working in the health sector, Phuong was assigned to care for patients with severe symptoms. During the early days, her work was more difficult as many people did not understand and strictly obey regulations on epidemic prevention and control. She had to regularly explain as well as motivate the patients to make them feel more secure. As a woman, Phuong has been also homesick, especially on rainy days. Taking advantage of her few minutes of rest, she relieves that nostalgia by telephoning her family’s members and asking her children to obey their grandparents.

More fortunate than many members of the delegation from Ha Nam, Doctor Nguyen Van Tuan has a girlfriend who is a nurse having gone voluntarily to the City to support the fight. Therefore, his homesickness was alleviated. He said every day, medical staff at Field Hospital No. 9 make great efforts to care for patients, notably special cases. For example, there was a woman infected with Covid-19 while 30 weeks pregnant and doctors had to consider measures carefully to treat her without affecting the fetus. Up to now, she and her fetus are healthy and have received two negative test results. The whole hospital was happy with the news.

By July 24, Field Hospital No. 9 had recorded 86 patients as discharged. If nothing changes, dozens of patients will be discharged in the coming days. This is the joy of not only the City but also the whole country and a great motivation for them to continue to join hands with Ho Chi Minh City in this difficult “struggle”.

The heart of physicians

Hoa Phu Field Hospital was established on July 7 inside the Hoa Phu Regional General Hospital in Long Ho District, in the Mekong River Delta Province of Vinh Long. A leather shoe factory as part of the Ty Xuan Limited Company, is located in the area with the most community COVID-19 infections in the province, is located in the region.

On July 8, nurse Nguyen Le Quoc Binh from Vinh Long Eye Hospital, volunteered to join the Hoa Phu Field Hospital to care for those infected. “Regularly working with patients, I feel that they are very worried about their health conditions; therefore, we have to encourage them while strictly adhering to the treatment processes and protocol”, he added.

The hospital has 50 beds. The medical staff including the hospital's on-site forces and others have been mobilised from other localities. Like Binh, they were all volunteers on the frontline against the epidemic. They work and live in the hospital, completely self-isolating from the outside.

They are not only frontline forces but also members of a united family. They share everything together. Doctor Nguyen Ba Khanh Linh confided: “During the early days when I came here, I worried a lot. However, after only a week, everything was fine. With doctors, patients have been their relatives; therefore, we have made great efforts to treat them and hope for their speedy recovery”.

The duty area of Hoa Phu Field Hospital has been busy day and nights with both professional work and the reception and distribution of donations to patients. Despite “field” and hasty meals at midnight on the hospital’s corridors, there has been no shortage of laughter among those people in the same situation.

While Dong Thap was experiencing consecutive fatal cases, workers from many localities around the country came to the land of the pink lotus. The doctors and nurses of the expert groups from the Ministry of Health, Hue Central General Hospital, Can Tho Central General Hospital and a delegation from Bac Giang province, have devoted themselves and made tireless efforts to treat severely ill COVID-19 patients at the Sa Dec General Hospital and Dong Thap Lung Hospital.

Vice Chairman of the Dong Thap Provincial People's Committee, Doan Tan Buu, said that the doctors and nurses who came to support Dong Thap were those with good expertise and experience in resuscitation treatment for COVID-19 patients. The emergency resuscitation team from the Hue Central General Hospital consists of experienced doctors, nurses and technicians, forming active support crews.

Working in the hospital for a whole month, facing the dangers of infection and witnessing the patient's inability to beat the epidemic, many doctors and nurses in Dong Thap have wavered sometimes, or even panicked. However, the prompt assistance of other doctors and nurses has become a support resource in treatment and a spiritual supplement to help the medical workers in Dong Thap remain calm and confident in their treatment and care for COVID-19 patients.

Despite being away from home for prolonged periods of time and working in difficult circumstances with a high risk of infection, experts and volunteers have devoted themselves to the testing and treatment of patients, helping them overcome these critical times and return them to their normal lives. Their beautiful images have brightened up the tradition of “a good physician is like a good mother”.


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