Some groups of people in Viet Nam receive health care that differs greatly in quality and access from the care offered to others. Among those who receive the lowest quality care and experience the poorest health outcomes are rural populations, the urban poor, ethnic minorities, women, older adults, children and others.
To improve their quality of life, Atlantic supports health equity for all Vietnamese and has invested in comprehensive change in primary care, including new facilities and training programmes for medical professionals. Grants from Atlantic have enhanced the nursing profession and improved critical skills for primary care doctors, physician assistants, midwives, and social and community mental health workers.
Over the last decade, Atlantic has significantly contributed to improving the delivery of primary health care. Our grantees have constructed or upgraded 800 commune health centres in seven provinces inhabited by 8 million people who mostly are poor, rural and often ethnic minorities.
Past work includes successful policy and behavioural changes for tobacco control and injury prevention. For example, today, 95 per cent of motorbike riders wear helmets as a result of education programmes and advocacy efforts to make them mandatory.
Our work with the government of Viet Nam has provided significant matching support, widespread policy change and institutional reform. With these improvements, Viet Nam can address local health challenges, improve preventive care and encourage healthy behaviours. As we near the completion of our work in Viet Nam, additional strong policies and continued government investment in public health are critical to the sustainability of these initiatives.