COVID-19 caution: Strengthening the prevention, response and post-pandemic recovery for the elderly

Older people are particularly affected by COVID-19. They need special attention during the COVID-19 crisis, and their voices, opinions and concerns must be heard.

At the two-day training session. Photo: Duc Le/HelpAge International

On November 12 and 13, in Hanoi, HelpAge International in Vietnam, in cooperation with the Vietnam Association for the Elderly, through the Representative Committee of the Hanoi Association for the Elderly, held a training course on "Capacity building for COVID-19 prevention, response and post-pandemic recovery for the elderly".

Attending the training course were representatives of the Association for the Elderly at all levels and members of Club Management Boards of several Intergenerational Self Help Clubs in Hanoi city. Other representatives included Nguyen Ngoc Quynh, Program Officer of the United Nations Population Fund (UNPFA) in Vietnam, and Tran Bich Thuy, Country Director of HelpAge International in Vietnam.

The training course in Hanoi is the fifth in a series of training courses within the framework of the project "Support Vietnam organizations in COVID-19 Preparedness and Response for older persons" by HelpAge International in Vietnam and Vietnam Association for the Elderly, in collaboration with the funding from the UNPFA in Vietnam .

This project is implemented in 13 provinces, including Hanoi, Hoa Binh, Vinh Phuc, Hai Duong, Hung Yen, Ninh Binh, Hai Phong, Bac Ninh, Thai Binh, Da Nang, Quang Tri, Quang Nam, and Quang Ngai.

Speaking at the opening of the training course, Nguyen Ngoc Quynh addressed the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic globally, emphasizing that although Vietnam has good control over the epidemic with no new cases of infection in the community over the past two months, but we must never let our guard down. COVID-19 is a contagious disease that has no specific drug or vaccine yet. Among adults, the risk for severe illness from COVID-19 increases with age, with older adults, especially those with underlying disease, at highest risk. 

At the two-day training session. Photo: Duc Le/HelpAge International

The training session lasted for two days with useful communication topics in first day such as: Increasingly focusing on topics directly related to COVID-19 prevention, updating on COVID-19 disease and pandemic phase in the world and in Vietnam, important notes for for the elderly in COVID-19 prevention, instructions for proper hand washing and masking, health management for the elderly (especially those with chronic diseases) during a pandemic, guidance for strengthening health for the elderly in the pandemic situation through adequate and appropriate nutrition, caregivers' attention and guidance on home medical isolation methods.

Day two aims to enhance the capacity of the elderly to respond and recover from a pandemic with highly practical training topics including training on smartphone usage for the older people (basic operations, using the Internet to find useful information and useful applications, guided on how to install and use them, and notes for safe use of smartphones, etc.), discussion and sharing o fappropriate income increasing models for the elderly amist COVID-19.

The training class also took time to discuss the Intergenerational Self Help Clubs' management and operations in the context of COVID-19, in order to both maintain and adapt the Clubs' activities to the situation caused by the COVID-19, ensuring safety not only for members but also for people in need, supported by the Clubs.

Tu Anh