Source: Socialist Republic of Vietnam
A network is a group that brings together many hospitals within a defined geographic area and has one central hospital providing specialised care. All hospitals follow standardised training, guidelines and procedures, targeting to improve the quality of healthcare for babies at the lower level, while reducing overload at the upper level.
Through knowledge and expertise sharing, the quality of care in all hospitals would be improved via the network.
According to Director of the Hanoi Department of Health Nguyen Khac Hien, the neonatal network was first pioneered in the UK in 2003, and the evidence shows that countries that have provided access to neonatal care based on this network have achieved better results.
In February 2019, the Hanoi Department of Health signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on the development of a pilot neonatal network with Newborn Vietnam – a UK-registered NGO dedicated to reducing neonatal mortality in Southeast Asia, with a specific focus on Vietnam, opening up a cooperative relationship between the two sides.
Over a six-year period, Newborn will train the domestic medical staff as well as support a number of modern medical equipment for neonatal care, ensuring all medical units have adequate health care capacity to care for mothers and babies.
The network has been piloted in nine hospitals in Hanoi, including Hanoi Obstetrics and Gynaecology Hospital, Vietnam National Children’s Hospital, Duc Giang Hospital, Saint Paul Hospital, Dong Anh Hospital, Bac Thang Long Hospital, Soc Son Hospital, Gia Lam Hospital and Hoai Duc Hospital.
According to Hien, since the signing of the MoU, young Vietnamese doctors and nurses have been benefiting from practical training courses from the UK.
In particular, since associated with Newborn, the Hanoi Obstetrics and Gynaecology Hospital has achieved encouraging results in developing a project to improve feeding for low and extremely low weight babies; completing treatment regimens for bacterial infections and use of tiered antibiotics; deploying Kangaroo Mother Care hi-technology and training all staff and families to practice the technique; and providing instructions for hospital staff to use continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) system.
In addition, the hospital’s Department of Neonatology has also seen positive changes from this cooperation, as the department has improved its facilities and invested in modern equipment, while improvements have been the professional and management qualifications of staff to help increase the quality of medical examination and treatment.