Voices from the communities: Hoang Thi Cuc from Vietnam

Voices from the communities: Hoang Thi Cuc from Vietnam

“Before becoming an Intergenerational Self-Help Club (ISHC) in June 2018, our Binh Hoa Club was a physical exercise club, with the main activity  being physical activities for club members. Since becoming an ISHC, in addition to other activities, we also check monthly blood pressure and weight measurements of members, and conduct health education sessions on a variety of topics including healthy nutrition and common diseases that affect older persons.

At the beginning of 2021, the Club’s Management Board and 5 health volunteers participated in a training organised by the SUNI-SEA project and the Vietnam Association of the Elderly, about non communicable diseases (NCDs) prevention and management Thanks to that, we had wider and deeper knowledge on the control and prevention of hypertension and diabetes. We now conduct health education sessions more frequently about these diseases and have started organising  hypertension and diabetes screening activities for members, as well as referring them to health facilities, if needed, for timely treatment. In May 2021, when the COVID-19 situation became more complicated, we were unable to organise regular club activities and health education activities directly to everyone. Instead we use village loudspeakers to provide health education, and conduct individual home visits for the members who couldn’t hear clearly from the loudspeakers.

Up to now, we have already organised screening 2 times. The last time, when the province had just eased social distancing, we immediately deployed it, in case the pandemic broke out and we would be restricted from conducting activities again. We organised the screening methodically according to how we were trained, with careful preparation. The screening activity was organised at the village, which is very convenient for club members, most of whom are older people, the majority being women. Moreover, waiting time for screening is has been greatly reduced due to  the provision of 5 sets of blood pressure monitors by the project, instead of previously where we only had one monitor. After the screening, the club health volunteers provide counselling and refer people at risk to health facilities if needed. The members highly appreciate this and thus, we have gained increased trust from them.

The SUNI-SEA project is a very meaningful project. Every time I organise a screening for members, although it’s a lot of work, I feel very happy because I can help people and the community have better health. Thanks to activities like this, the solidarity among the members has increased and we are closer. All the screening event participants are very excited.”