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Finding direction for an innovative and effective model in Covid-19 prevention-control

Update: 15-06-2022 | 12:28:04

Part 1: Effectiveness from mobile medical stations

With the goal of helping people in the "locked, frozen" area to quickly access health services under the direction of the Government, the Ministry of Health, Binh Duong province actively established the model of the mobile medical station. This was an innovative model that not only helped people quickly access healthcare from the grassroots level, but also helped Binh Duong reduce severe cases, deaths and quickly control the pandemic.

Fastest response to medical requirements

At the peak of the pandemic, Binh Duong recorded about 4,000-6,000 infections every day. The pandemic attacked lodging facilities, residential areas intertwined with factories and industrial parks. In the condition that vaccine sources were still scarce both in the world and in the country, Binh Duong in particular and the whole country fought against the pandemic in passive, unprecedented conditions...From the Dispatch No. 1099/CD-TTg "Strengthening social distancing and measures on Covid-19 epidemic prevention and control" and the Dispatch No. 1102/CD-TTg "Strengthening anti-Covid-19 prevention and control measures nationwide” by the Prime Minister, the Ministry of Health developed guidelines for the mobile medical station model. After that, 57 mobile medical stations were "rapidly" established in 15 "red zone" wards that were "locked and frozen" in Thuan An city, Di An city and Tan Uyen town.

The ambulance of the mobile medical station gets the fastest response to people's medical requirements

The model of the mobile medical station was set up, connecting the care and management of people with Covid-19 at home with care at hospital, detecting severe cases for timely referral. Especially, members of the model also monitored and managed people infected with Covid-19 at home, in the community and provided primary healthcare, first aid for patients with common diseases, participated in testing, and administering Covid-19 vaccines for people. Before the model was set up, Binh Duong was always under the pressure of an increasing number of F0 cases, forcing the establishment of many isolation and treatment areas (33 treatment facilities and 173 concentrated isolation areas), but the percentage of F0 cases who got access to medical care was still limited. The number of F0 cases getting serious continuously increased. The birth of this model helped people access health services "from afar, early, from grassroots", contributing to reducing the mortality rate and reducing the patient load for the upper level.

Thuan Giao ward in Thuan An city was one of the province’s Covid-19 hotspots. The locality established 5 mobile medical stations in 5 quarters to carry out Covid-19 prevention and control activities in the community. The case of Nguyen Thi Nam in Thuan Giao ward’s Binh Thuan quarter was one of many cases successfully treated by the local mobile medical station. After being treated at the station for 7 days, her health recovered completely. The station’s medical staff instructed her to continue isolating at home under regulations…

Doctor Nguyen Dinh Thinh, Head of the Mobile Medical Station of Thuan Giao ward in Thuan An city shared: “At the peak of the pandemic, the local mobile medical station established 5 mobile outposts stationed in quarters, so all medical requirements of the people were met in the fastest response. Statistics showed that after nearly 14 days of implementing measures to strengthen social distancing, the ward’s mobile medical station managed and cared for more than 2,000 F0 cases with no deaths.

For about 2 weeks, localities of Thuan An city and Tan Uyen town implemented measures to "lock down, freeze", but medical activities in red areas and spots still took place very animatedly. Especially, Thuan An city and Tan Uyen town no longer had the situation of Covid-19 patients getting serious or deaths before being taken to primary collection and treatment facilities.

Model replicated among 91 communes, wards and towns

The operational effectiveness of the mobile medical station model in the "dense red areas" showed that the acumen and creativity of leaders at all levels helped people to access health care as soon as possible right from the grassroots level. The model also affirmed that the policy of the Government, the Ministry of Health, provincial Party Committee and provincial People's Committee "taking communes and wards as fortresses against the pandemic, and people as soldiers in the pandemic prevention and control" was completely consistent with the situation of the pandemic at that time.

Realizing the effectiveness of the model, Binh Duong aimed at not only realizing the activities of mobile medical stations in "red zones", "red spots", "yellow zone", but also in "green zones". In just about 1 week, the whole province set up 149 mobile medical stations in 91 communes, wards and townships, including 26 operating in industrial parks and compounds. Especially, the "green zone" districts such as Phu Giao and Dau Tieng promoted the role of mobile medical stations in Covid-19 testing and vaccination at home for people. In Phu Giao district, 11 mobile medical stations in 11 communes and towns took samples for Covid-19 testing for more than 4,500 cases, administered Covid-19 vaccines for more than 20,000 people and took care of F0 cases at home for nearly 1,000 cases. As of June 2, the province gave home care for nearly 423,000 F0 cases and there were nearly 70% of F0 cases being treated at mobile medical stations. In addition, these stations also provided health advice, medicine for patients under home treatment, performed quick tests, injected Covid-19 vaccines for people, and transferred many severe cases to hospitals.

The effective operation of mobile medical stations along with the 2nd and 3rd floor treatment systems contributed to reducing the death rate of patients, due to Covid-19. The reason was that people early accessed to healthcare and received medical care right from the time they were detected positive. Statistics at the end of August 2021, every day, the province recorded 20-40 deaths, due to the pandemic. This number gradually decreased when the mobile medical station model was put into operation. The province only recorded from 10 to less than 20 deaths per day and gradually decreased to 1-2 cases per day.

Talking about the mobile medical station model, Dr. Nguyen Hong Chuong, Director of provincial Department of Health said: “Thanks to the effective operation of the mobile medical stations, many F0 cases under home isolation confidently got treatment and overcame the pandemic. However, these mobile medical stations were still weak and faced the shortage of medical workers.  Many medical workers had to work continuously from morning to late at night. They provided health advice, received and processed support requests from F0s while providing medicine, health monitoring for F0 cases under home treatment, realizing hospital transfer, Covid-19 tests, vaccinations…, so they were very stressful and faced overload."

In the situation of the shortage of human resources and with only 22 doctors, 88 employees and volunteers, 57 first mobile medical stations operated at full capacity, directly monitoring and taking care of thousands of F0 cases. Their effective operation contributed to reducing the load on the upper level and decreasing the mortality rate, thanks to the early detection of severe F0 cases.
From the effectiveness of the mobile medical station model, provincial Party Standing Committee agreed on the policy of assigning the health sector to have a plan to strengthen mobile medical stations in late 2021. Accordingly, every 15,000 people, there will be 1 mobile medical station set up with 5 staff. In particular, provincial Party Standing Committee also agreed to increase additional 1 mobile medical station for 91 communes, wards and townships. Accordingly, the whole province will have 196 mobile medical stations in 91 communes, wards and townships.

Reported by Hoang Linh-Translated by Kim Tin

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