In Vietnam, we’re translating rapid economic growth and social and cultural change into lasting gains for public health. Photo: Nguyen Ba Quang.
An inspiring week with Vietnam’s health leaders and communities
Over the last 15 years, rapid economic growth has propelled Vietnam to new prosperity, opening unprecedented opportunities for the country’s people and igniting rapid social and cultural change. At PATH, we’re drawing on our longstanding partnerships and experience in Vietnam, and our innovative approaches, to translate this momentum into lasting gains for public health. On this eight-day trip, you’ll see what it takes—getting to know our projects, our partners, and the communities we serve first-hand.
PATH has been working to improve health in Vietnam for more than 30 years. Our efforts began in 1980 with work to improve local condom manufacturing capacity. Other projects followed, and in 1997 we opened a permanent office in Hanoi. Today, we are advancing vaccines and immunizations; improving reproductive, maternal, and child health and nutrition; expanding health technologies; addressing emerging and epidemic diseases; and more.
Our 2016 Vietnam Journey will explore this work from every angle. We’ll talk candidly with staff, partners, and health workers about current challenges and opportunities; go behind the scenes to see how vaccines are made; and gain a first-hand understanding of the day-to-day work of health care. Most importantly, we’ll spend time with the everyday people navigating Vietnam’s tremendous change—and see how their integrity and commitment are making ambitious national health goals more achievable than ever before.
Select group travel
Journey travelers are an engaged group of scholars, leaders, and influencers who share an interest in women’s and children’s health, sustainable solutions to global health challenges, and the connection between technological and social innovation—and real change for communities.
Travelers will visit project sites and facilities for small group tours and exclusive discussions with leaders, PATH staff, partners, and citizens. Open time allows for reflection and optional excursions. In the evenings, trip leaders and participants are invited to meet to share insights and impressions from the day.
Because PATH’s projects are dynamic and changing, we occasionally update Journey travel locations and activities to take advantage of evolving opportunities. The following provides examples of the types of activities travelers can expect, but details are subject to change.
September 30: Depart United States for Hanoi, Vietnam
October 1: Arrive in Hanoi
- On arrival, you’ll be met by a local guide at the Hanoi airport for your transfer to the Sofitel Metropole Hotel.
October 2: Hanoi
- After breakfast at the hotel, we’ll enjoy a morning tour of Hanoi’s sights before meeting with PATH’s country program director for a welcome lunch. We’ll learn about PATH’s longstanding collaborations to improve health in Vietnam and discuss the priorities, opportunities, and challenges shaping the country and our work.
- In the afternoon, the group will attend a traditional water puppet performance and take a moment to see the city’s busy street life—from mopeds to vendors. After a break, we’ll meet up for a first taste of Vietnam’s renowned dining over our first dinner together.
October 3: Hoa Binh
- After an early breakfast, a drive will take us to Hoa Binh province. Throughout the day, we’ll visit several health facilities in the area, building a deeper understanding of PATH’s partners, our projects, and the day-to-day work of public health in Vietnam.
- On our first stop, we’ll talk with leaders at the Hoa Binh Provincial Preventive Medicine Center, home to the province’s immunization program, about what it takes to maintain wide-scale vaccination. We’ll also learn how a simple, potentially lifesaving dose of hepatitis B immunization—right after birth—is protecting children throughout the province.
- After a break for lunch and a chance to take in the view from Hoa Binh’s towering hydroelectric dam, we’ll continue on to several community health centers. There, we’ll see first-hand how most Vietnamese access health services, and talk with health leaders about their priorities, goals, and needs.
- A scenic drive back to Hanoi will provide time to rest and take in the terraced rice paddies of the Vietnamese countryside before dinner at the hotel.
October 4: Nha Trang
- After hotel check-out, an early morning flight will take us to the south-central coastal city of Nha Trang. On arrival we’ll regroup over lunch.
- After lunch, we’ll visit the Institute of Vaccines and Medical Biologicals (IVAC), a trusted PATH partner, for a short presentation and Q&A.
- In the afternoon, we’ll transfer to the lovely beachside Mia Resort to enjoy a swim in the warm waters of the South China Sea before reconvening for dinner.
October 5: Nha Trang
- After breakfast, the group will return to IVAC for an exclusive tour of their flu vaccine manufacturing facility—and a chicken farm that supplies a crucial ingredient.
- A short lunch will provide a break before we continue on to a health center in Khanh Hoa province. If time permits, we’ll also visit a key historical site to learn more about the history of global health and sanitation.
- As evening approaches, we’ll return to the hotel to rest, take in the sunset, and enjoy dinner together.
October 6: Nha Trang to Ho Chi Minh City (tour day)
- After an early check-out, a morning flight will take us to Ho Chi Minh City, the economic capital of the country.
- After lunch at a local café, we’ll spend the afternoon on a brief tour of the city’s sights, including City Hall, the Opera House, and the Reunification Palace, which housed the last president of South Vietnam during the “American” war years. If there’s time, we’ll also visit the Central Post Office and Notre-Dame Basilica.
- Retuning to our coach, we’ll travel to the Park Hyatt Hotel for check-in, dinner, and conversation.
October 7: Ho Chi Minh City
- A morning at the local health center will illuminate how PATH and health leaders are aligning our interventions with Vietnam’s shifting needs, including a rising national rate of cardiovascular disease, cancers, and other noncommunicable diseases. For example, we’ll learn how our Communities for Healthy Hearts Initiative is working with health providers, partners, and communities to increase hypertension screening and ensure follow-up and treatment.
- Afterward, we’ll talk with leaders of Vietnam’s inspiring G-Link project. G-Link harnesses the power of social media, online shopping, and community services to reach men who have sex with men, transgendered people, and other marginalized groups with HIV testing, condoms, information on safer sex, and services. G-Link is part of our larger Healthy Markets project, which is helping affordable, high-quality health products reach new consumer markets—freeing subsidies for those who need them most.
- Over lunch with PATH staff members, we’ll discuss insights from the past two days and explore new opportunities for public health in Vietnam.
- In the evening, we’ll take in a traditional cultural performance before gathering for a farewell dinner.
October 8: Ho Chi Minh City
- Our departure day. After breakfast and a noon check-out, you’ll transfer to the airport to begin your travel home, continue on to Cambodia, or set off on other adventures.
The US$5,500.00 trip cost includes all meals, and hotel (double occupancy, single supplement available) and transportation costs during the eight-day, seven-night Journey. It does not include airfare to and from Vietnam, optional activities during the trip, or excursions before or after your Journey trip.
Interested in learning more?
For more information about this invitation-only opportunity, please contact:
Jenny Andrews, program leader