Vietnam

Total population: 88,069,000(July 2011 est.)

GDP per capita (PPP): $3,300 (2011 est.)

Total expenditure on health per capita (Intl $, 2009): $213

In-country partner: Children's Hospital 2 (Dr Huynh Thi Vu Quynh & colleagues)

The Socialist Republic of Vietnam is one of the few remaining Communist states in the world, although the Government has in recent times made a commitment to a more liberal economic strategy. 1858 invasion by colonial France ended in 1954, but was swiftly followed by civil war between North and South, with US providing economic and military aid to the South. US withdrawal, reunification and peace occurred in the mid-1970s, with economic growth and industrial development gaining momentum in the 1980s.

Life for a Child support

Commenced support: 2008

Between 2008-2011, LFAC provided intermittent support due to infrequent communications.

In 2011, thanks to Dr Kate Armstrong at CLAN (Caring & Living As Neighbours) Inc., LFAC was able to establish communications with and sign a Memorandum of Understanding with Children’s Hospital 2 (CH2) in Ho Chi Minh City. CH2 cares for 52 children with type 1 diabetes 1-15 years old - 24 live in Ho Chi Minh City, 28 in the countryside. Insulin is included in health insurance, so patients only pay 20%. As with many countries, strips are very expensive and must be wholly paid for by patients. LFAC supports CH2 with:

  • DCA Vantage machine – testing HbA1c quarterly and microalbuminuria annually - supplied by local Vietnamese distributor
  • Betachek strips - each child receiving 3 bottles of strips every 2 months
  • Travel costs of most needy patients to monthly clinic: The most distant province (among CH2 young patients) is Bac Lieu – 194 kms away. The cost of a return bus ticket from Bac Lieu to HCM city is 400.000 VND/ $20US. As a child cannot travel unaccompanied, an adult family member must also travel, increasing the cost to $40US/month. Yearly travel costs for one family can equal $480 US, a significant amount when the average monthly wage in Vietnam is approximately 824,000 VND/month (US $55)[Vietnam Household Living Standards Survey (VHLSS) 2004]