City to implement family doctor, nutrition projects

Ho Chi Minh City’s Department of Health (DoH) will conduct two projects on family doctors and nutrition for children.

The DoH and Belgium’s Liège University November 4 held a meeting to discuss a family doctor cooperation project to provide better care and ease the current overload at the city’s major hospitals.

Under the project, three family medical clinics will be established in the Preventive Health Departments in districts 1, 8 and Cu Chi.

In addition, another two will be based at private infirmaries Viet Gia in Nguyen Van Thu Street, District 1, and Thanh Cong in Truong Chinh Street, Tan Binh District.

These medical clinics will be equipped with medics and work under typical hospital mechanisms.

According to surveys, family doctors can treat 70 to 80 percent of normal diseases and contribute to easing the current overload at the city’s central hospitals, especially as Vietnam has fewer hospital beds than other countries in the region.

The DoH and Save the Children Alliance on the same day worked on a nutrition project for children.

The project will run in 15 provinces until 2013 and cost US$150,000 to $200,000 per province.

The new initiative is dedicated to reducing the high undernutrition and mortality rate caused by sub-optimal infant and young child feeding practices, as well as cutting the two percent rate of children suffering from malnutrition.

The project also aims to increase the proportion of exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of a child’s life.

Vietnam, currently one of 20 nations in the world, has a high rate of undernourished children and only 17 percent of babies are breastfed in the first six months of life.

By K. Lien, T, Lam – Translated by Uyen Phuong

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