The stakeholder consultation workshop of the SUNI-SEA project in Ninh Binh was successfully organised and obtained valuable recommendations for the project implementation in the prospective phase. The project plans to conduct the baseline surveys and finalise the locally-specific intervention strategies to ensure the feasibility and effectiveness of the SUNI-SEA project in the provinces.
Following the retrospective study and situation assessment, the SUNI-SEA team in Vietnam developed an intervention framework that aims to strengthen the prevention and management of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in the community. Based on the intervention framework, the project focuses on capacity building of primary health care (PHC) facilities in service delivery and facilitating the synergies between the PHC providers and the community-based groups in the prevention and management of NCD in the community. Additionally, the project aims to improve the community members’ awareness and participation in the prevention, monitoring, and self-management of chronic diseases through the Intergeneration Self-Help Clubs (ISHCs) initiated and supported by the HelpAge International in Vietnam (HAIV). The project also enhances the role of local authorities and health managers in directing and supervising NCDs prevention and control programmes.
On 12 October 2020, the SUNI-SEA consortium members in Vietnam, which include Health Strategy and Policy Institute (HSPI), HAIV, Thai Nguyen University of Medicine and Pharmacy, co-organised a local stakeholder consultation workshop in Ninh Binh, which is one of two intervention sites in Vietnam. The objectives of the workshop were:
- To introduce the proposed interventions of the SUNI-SEA project that are expected to be implemented in the province.
- To obtain feedback on the proposed activities and intervention plans from the local stakeholders.
The participants were local authorities and the health sector from all levels, including the People’s Committee, the provincial Department of Health (DOH), District Health Centers, Commune Health Stations, civil society organisations like the Association of the Elderly, Farmer’s Union, Women’s Union; and the representatives of ISHCs in Ninh Binh.
All participants highly appreciated the proposed interventions’ feasibility and appropriateness and the committed to actively engaging in the project implementation. Some challenges in the NCD prevention and management in the community are highlighted and discussed, such as insufficient medication supplies at PHC facilities, poor health literacy, and loose connection between PHC facilities and ISHCs. In response, the local stakeholders suggested a number of areas that should be prioritised within the context of the project, including health education, capacity building training for healthcare workers and ISHCs, the expansion of community screening, and promoting the engagement of local authorities.