Voices from the communities: Dinh Trong Mai from Vietnam

Voices from the communities: Dinh Trong Mai from Vietnam

“I find the SUNI-SEA project activities to be very meaningful and beneficial for Intergenerational Selp-Help Club (ISHC) members as well as the community. 

Before joining the SUNI-SEA project, our club measured members blood pressure and weight every month. After we completed the project training, in addition to conducting regular and faster blood pressure and weight monitoring, we also provide health education sessions for club members, and more in-depth information about hypertension and diabetes. 

At first when we disseminated information about the planned hypertension and diabetes screening event, we hardly received any interest. The community members doubted that our club with mostly older people could do this. They didn’t know that we had been equipped with the necessary knowledge and tools for it. However, we still tried to convince people, and actively mobilised community members using the village loudspeakers as well as conducting home visits to invite club members to participate. We prepared methodically according to  what we learned during the training. We also invited the commune health to staff to collaborate, so gradually people started to believe and they participated enthusiastically.

Up to now, our Gia Thuong ISHC has organised two screening events for members and both achieved very good results. After each screening event, we have gained more experience and motivation to do better. All the participants were very excited and said that the project’s activities have helped them to be much healthier. They know if they have a disease, and receive advice for improved nutrition and healthier lifestyles. I always tell everyone that we do it not to play or to follow the trend, but to do it for real, to detect diseases for our members and refer them for treatment. We want to contribute our efforts to reduce the burden on society and families. I hope meaningful projects like this will be more and more replicated in the community.”