The Kobe University (KU) and the Hanoi Medical University (HMU) hold an online ASEAN Occupational Therapy (OT) Symposium on November 4 to support the training in rehabilitation for the elderly in four Hanoi-based hospitals.
Four hospitals in Hanoi were selected to participate in the event: Bach Mai Hospital, National Geriatric Hospital, Hanoi Medical University Hospital, and Hanoi Rehabilitation Hospital, introducing occupational therapy services currently developed as they are new in the field of rehabilitation in Vietnam.
From Kobe University, Professor Tanemura Rumi, project director, shared, "For the Vietnamese aging society in the near future, Hanoi Medical University and Kobe University have conducted OT for the elderly in Vietnam for three and a half years, targeting 12 OT trainers. Covid-19 caused the closure of face-to-face training, but we switched it to online."
Associate Professor Pham Van Minh, Hanoi Medical University, expressed: "Thanks to the project OT trainers from Bach Mai hospital, National Geriatric Hospital, Hanoi Medical University Hospital, and Hanoi Rehabilitation Hospital have gained basic knowledge about OT for the elderly with chronic diseases."
Health care and rehabilitation guidelines for an old person. Photo: Thuy Giang
"In addition, they were able to give lectures and clinical training to doctors and therapists in the North of Vietnam with the cooperation of Kobe University. We hope this project will be the first step to developing the OT training program soon," Minh said.
According to United Nations, the aging of the population in Vietnam is predicted to accelerate in 20 years from 2010, and the speed of aging is faster than that of Japan. Even though medical health measures for chronic diseases have been carried out since the early 21st century, when non-infectious diseases increased, the establishment of measures for geriatric illnesses (ex., dementia) and the personnel training for rehabilitation staff such as OT have not yet been conducted.
In this context, the transfer of rehabilitation techniques for the elderly, cultivated in Japan, is very important and significant for Vietnam. Japan has already become a "super-aging society" with more than 6,020,000 people with dementia, and many disabled elderly live comfortably in the community with the help of rehabilitation techniques for the elderly.
The symposium was to share OT and the history of the OT development and transition process in Japan, the world's leading aging society, and Thailand, the leading aging society in ASEAN, with stakeholders in Vietnam.
The symposium was attended by about 90 participants, including 70 rehabilitation professionals in Vietnam, the stakeholders of the project as well as the ones from the OT-related projects run by international NGOs, such as Humanity and Inclusion (HI), Medical Committee Netherlands – Vietnam (MCNV), the International Center (IC) and Vietnam Assistance for the Handicapped (VNAH), and 20 from Japan including the OT students from KU.
The event was held at the end of the KU-HMU JPP Project, which has been implemented since May 2019 and throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. KU-HMU expects the event to play a role in guiding the achievement of the project's overall objective "in contributing to the health, well-being, and prevention of cognitive impairment of older people in the Northern region through the development of human resources for rehabilitation services for older people, mainly occupational therapy."