28 March 2023

Singapore-Vietnam Haemodialysis Project Benefits more than 2,500 Renal Patients in Northern Vietnam

The five-year Singapore International Foundation (SIF) healthcare training initiative saw Singapore volunteers work with their counterparts in Vietnam to raise standards in haemodialysis care.

Haemo Care Project Workshop
Haemo Care Project Workshop
Singapore International Volunteer (SIV) and Senior Nurse Manager from TTSH Chan Siew Mie (left, in white top), demonstrating the technique of permanent catheter dressing to Vietnamese master trainers during a clinical training workshop in 2018.

Training pays off handsomely.

That was the observation of Ms Đào Thị Thùy Dương, a Viet Duc Hospital nurse, who that took part in the SIF’s Haemodialysis Care Project which ran from 2018 to 2023.

The project was organised with Hanoi Medical University (HMU) and Singapore’s Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH) and she was trained as a Master Trainer (MT).

She said: “After training the other nurses on catheter care and haemodialysis I observed higher efficiency in their work processes.”

The hospital also implemented new technical guidelines in the catheter care process, developed from the project. This resulted in a new low for the unit’s hepatitis infection rate. There were no major complications or complications related to vascular access in the last two years.

The five-year initiative had aimed to enhance the quality of renal care in northern Vietnam by training haemodialysis professionals there. During the project a team of Singapore International Volunteers (SIVs) comprising 12 specialists from TTSH’s Department of Renal Medicine worked closely with about 260 doctors and nurses in Vietnam.

They interacted through a series of online and in-person train-the-trainer workshops, leadership engagement sessions, a study visit to Singapore, and a symposium. The project saw the development and distribution of haemodialysis practice guidelines to renal care centres in northern Vietnam.

The project also saw 12 Vietnamese participants, such as Ms Đào, being trained as Master Trainers. To date, these MTs have trained more than 150 healthcare workers and the effect has been to raise the overall quality of care for more than 2,500 renal patients in the region.

The project closed with an online ceremony and a symposium on 12 March 2023. About 90 guests, including SIVs, project participants and representatives from HMU attended the event.

Screenshot of Virtual Closing Ceremony
Healthcare professionals from Singapore and Vietnam and representatives from the project partners took part in an online symposium to mark the end of the Haemodialysis Care Project on 12 March 2023.

They included: Mr Jaryll Chan, SIF Division Director (Programmes), Prof Hà Phan Hải An, Associate Professor, HMU, Dr Nguyễn Hữu Dũng, Bach Mai Hospital, Dr Yeo See Cheng, Head of Department, Senior Consultant, TTSH, Dr Manohar Giliyar Bairy, Senior Consultant, Renal Medicine, TTSH, and Dr Yong Enming, Deputy Head (Vascular Diagnostic Laboratory), Consultant, TTSH.

At the event, Mr Chan said that the project had not only contributed to sustainable development in the healthcare sector in Vietnam but had also fostered friendships and intercultural understanding between the two communities. He added: “I’m glad to learn that the interactions also provided our volunteers with a rewarding learning experience.”

Prof Hà said: “In addition to strengthening the friendship between the two countries, we hope that with these activities, we can maintain and improve the quality of haemodialysis patient care in Vietnam."

Since 1994, the SIF has been working with various institutional and individual partners in Vietnam to create positive change in areas such as healthcare, education, social entrepreneurship, the arts and culture.