PATH and Vietnam Ministry of Health evaluate the gaps in COVID-19 respiratory care

April 2, 2021 by PATH

Hanoi, Vietnam, April 2, 2021

Today, the Vietnam Ministry of Health (MOH) and PATH came together for the Dissemination Workshop of the Gap Analysis of 27 hospitals that treated COVID-19 patients in Vietnam under the COVID-19 Respiratory Care Response Coordination project. The workshop was chaired by the Minister of Health Deputy Minister Nguyen Truong Son.

At the workshop, participants discussed the results and preliminary recommendations from the rapid assessment of the respiratory care capacity, including the availability and use of medical oxygen and other respiratory equipment, at the 27 hospitals providing care for COVID-19 patients in Vietnam. The assessment is part of an initiative led by PATH and a coalition of partners to support low- and middle-income countries in developing and executing a comprehensive respiratory care plan to respond to COVID-19 and strengthen health systems.

The result indicated that the 27 hospitals were well-equipped to handle the caseload of 1,000, 3,000, and 30,000 patients. In a 100,000-caseload scenario, more hospitals and resources must be mobilized to care for COVID-19 patients.

Speaking at the workshop, Nguyen Truong Son highlighted that “despite our efforts to implement the most appropriate and effective possible pandemic prevention and control mechanisms, the COVID-19 situation remains volatile and complicated. Vietnam still faces threats of a resurgence due to illegal border crossings. While the central government is aiming to inoculate the population as widely and rapidly as possible and diversifying the COVID-19 vaccine supplies, the health sector must always proactively manage the potential risks of the pandemic.”

MOH Deputy Minister Nguyen Truong Son speaking at the workshop.jpg

MOH Deputy Minister Nguyen Truong Son speaking at the workshop. He stated that the Vietnam health sector must remain highly proactive to manage potential risks of the COVID-19 pandemic. Photo: PATH Vietnam Country Program.

Based on the feedback from relevant stakeholders on the assessment result and preliminary recommendations, PATH and partners will proceed to analyze the data from the subsequent nationwide respiratory care capacity survey at more than 1,440 hospitals. The workshop also helped inform national strategies for improving access to oxygen therapy and essential equipment in respiratory care and providing technical assistance for key decision-makers to meet national-specific needs for respiratory support during and beyond pandemic response.

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Vietnam has received international recognition for its swift and effective response. Nonetheless, the country still faces imminent threats of imported cases and new COVID-19 virus variants, especially before the country achieves herd immunity through vaccination. Approximately 20% of people with COVID-19 develop a severe or critical respiratory illness that requires oxygen therapy to support breathing. Thus, the procurement of medical oxygen and respiratory equipment is more urgent than ever. The country must be fully prepared and well-equipped for different scenarios and levels of the pandemic and maintain access to reliable oxygen for short- and long-term needs.

Additional resources

COVID-19 Respiratory Care Response Coordination project fact sheet

About PATH’s global response to COVID-19

As COVID-19 spreads around the world, PATH is partnering with governments to lessen its impact by establishing emergency operations centers; advising on testing, treating, and managing the outbreak; and standing up digital and data systems that support real-time disease surveillance. Click here for more about how we are responding to COVID-19.

About PATH

PATH is a global organization that works to accelerate health equity by bringing together public institutions, businesses, social enterprises, and investors to solve the world’s most pressing health challenges. Our team of innovators comprises more than 1,500 employees in offices in 20 countries. With expertise in science, health, economics, technology, advocacy, and dozens of other specialties, PATH develops and scales solutions—including vaccines, drugs, devices, diagnostics, and innovative approaches to strengthening health systems worldwide. We work in more than 70 countries to transform bold ideas into sustainable solutions that improve health and well-being for all, reaching more than 150 million people, on average, each year.