Workshops enhance capacity for the elderly on COVID-19 prevention, response and recovery

Vietnamese Government and organisations in preventing and responding to COVID-19 by supporting the most vulnerable population groups, particularly the elderly.

Photo: UNFPA Vietnam

As many as 13 training courses to enhance capacity for older persons on COVID-19 prevention, response and recovery have been implemented in 13 provinces and cities through-out the country. The training was held by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in Vietnam in collaboration with HelpAge Vietnam and Vietnam Association for the Elderly.

The training was piloted in Bac Ninh province on 29-30 October 2020 and conducted in Hoa Binh and Vinh Phuc provinces from November 1 to 4. Other training courses will continue carrying out in November and December this year.

The elderly are Vietnamese citizens who are 60 years of age or older, according to the Law on the Elderly.

Health experts said that the elderly face several disadvantages in declining abilities to cope with infectious diseases and adapt to the environment due to the decrease of lung capacity, narrowing of chest wall, reduction of mucous membranes and weak coughing force. So, the elderly are susceptible to respiratory infections and cardiac hypertrophy. Older people are more likely to get more diseases at the same time.

A study by the National Geriatrics Hospital showed that the average number of disease among the elderly is 2.6 and for people over 80 years old, this figure is 6.8.

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak in Vietnam, the Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control has asked provinces and cities nationwide to strengthen the prevention of COVID-19 for the elderly.

The People's Committees of provinces and cities are requested to urgently direct relevant agencies take specific measures to strengthen prevention of the COVID-19 epidemic for the elderly, people with underlying diseases and other high risk groups.

Localities are requested to count and strictly manage the health of the elderly, especially people with underlying medical conditions and other high-risk groups

Families of elderly people, people with underlying medical conditions and high-risk groups are recommended to minimise going out to public areas and contact with others. When experiencing health problems, they must immediately contact the commune health department, ward or family doctor. 

Tu Pham