Xin chào. It’s hard to believe that we are already leaving RTCCD after 6 weeks here. We have taken part in many amazing activities, both in-and-outside the office — our time has just flown by! This trip was an important reminder that global health is not simply the export of Western ideas as ‘aid’ to the rest of the world. Our Canadian system is not perfect and still has much to learn from other countries and cultures. Global health is about education. In Vietnam, we remembered that global health as the collaborative international effort to make our communities and our world a better, safer, and healthier place.
In our first few weeks, we were focused on teaching First Aid and CPR updates following the new 2015 guidelines! We learned a lot about the Vietnamese people and our own Canadian perspectives on healthcare. Emily-Lauren has been teaching CPR and First-Aid for more than a decade with the Canadian Lifesaving Society, but still learned so much from her Vietnamese colleagues! While some first aid problems are common in both Vietnam and Canada, it was interesting to learn about Vietnam specific concerns. Teaching CPR at RTCCD was an excellent dress-rehearsal before our big performance: teaching first aid at a local preschool. It was awesome to collaborate with RTCCD staff and teach the course as an international team!
Our time in Vietnam at the Green Pine Clinic reinforced themes from our pediatrics module. We gave a presentation pediatric auditory screening to staff at the clinic. Hearing can have a dramatic impact on early childhood development. We learned a lot about this important topic by teaching it, which will undoubtedly shape our growth as future physicians. While here, Emily-Lauren worked with the RTCCD staff to film a short public service announcement about the dangers of smoking around children. We look forward to viewing the final-cut!
In our time here, we were lucky to be invited to both a public and a private hospital. Here, we met health care providers and discussed the similarities and differences between the Canadian and Vietnamese health care systems. These days were very enlightening.
Throughout our time in Hanoi, we enjoyed collaborating on ongoing research projects in public health at RTCCD and were continuously awed by the prolific publications and important research being undertaken by our Vietnamese colleagues. We wish our colleagues the best in the development of their projects in maternal and child health and the dangers of coal pollution. As climate change is an issue that affects the entire globe, we felt lucky to contribute to RTCCD research on the health impacts of coal-fired power plant pollution. We hope that our unique Canadian perspective on public health was helpful in the research process.
As we embark on new adventures, we feel grateful for our time Hanoi with the RTCCD. Thank you or cảm ơn to our new Vietnamese friends and colleagues. We feel so touched to have shared your country, culture, food, and language; we are incredibly sad to leave! Tạm biệt.