Disability Rights Enforcement, Coordination and Therapies Program (DIRECT) funded by USAID
Tuesday, December 11, 2018
MAJOR RESULTS TO DATE
Disability Rights Enforcement, Coordination and Therapies (DIRECT) project is funded by USAID and implemented by VNAH in collaboration with Vietnamese partners including the Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA), Ministry of Health (MOH) and governments of Tay Ninh and Binh Phuoc Provinces.
The project has a goal to expand opportunities for persons with disabilities through higher quality and sustainable services, awareness, and advocacy strengthening. Specifically, the project aims at:
1) Enhanced resources for disability programs and services;
2) Enhanced access to quality rehabilitation services.
These are being achieved through supports to Government of Vietnam National Committee on Disabilities (NCD) to improve coordination and enforcement of disability policies; and expansion of health insurance coverage for rehabilitation services. Secondly, DIRECT supports the development of rehabilitation services – include improving human resources and treatment facilities - and delivery of direct assistance for persons with disabilities, especially those with severe and developmental disabilities in Binh Phuoc and Tay Ninh provinces.
The project started in November 2015 and will end in September 2020. By end of September 2018, after 35 months of implementation, the project has achieved several major results, as following:
- 3,700 persons with disabilities have received direct assistance, including rehabilitation therapy services, assistive devices and home improvement. About 12% of our beneficiaries are victims of, or those exposed to Agent Orange. Persons with disabilities having exposed to Agent Orange is one of the project priority beneficiary groups. The project also prioritized women and girls with severe disabilities. So far, 40% of the project beneficiaries are female. Prior to therapy/support, the project engaged Vietnamese and international rehabilitation specialists to conduct clinical assessment to identify the beneficiary’s needs in rehabilitation, assistive devices and other supports. After the assessment, a plan for intervention/treatment was developed and services/supports are followed up for each individual person.
- 5,100 Service Providers have been trained by the project to date. Capacity building training for local service provider is one of the key objectives of the project. The technical training so far focused on rehabilitation therapies, disability assessment skills and disability information system (DIS). Participants are social and health workers from local systems. Of these, over 31 rehabitation doctors and 58 therapist assistants were accomplished short course programs (10 months) and become rehabilitation licensed practitioners. The second batches of 25 doctors and 28 therapist assistants have been training until June 2019 with focus on occupational therapy. These trainings are delivered by the HCMC University of Medicine and Pharmacy and the Curtin University (Australia). VNAH also collaborated with the Butterfly Basket Foundation (Netherland), CESO (Canada) and other volunteer health professional in training and services in rehabilitation to people with disabilities in Tay Ninh and Binh Phuoc provinces. In addition, three-month training course on rehabilitation orientation were provided for 242 commune health staff of all communes in two provinces.
- 25 rehabilitation units have been set up and equipped. The project assisted in the set up and provision of rehabilitation equipment for 25 rehabilitation units of provincial and district hospitals in Binh Phuoc and Tay Ninh. These rehabilitation units and the rehabilitation practitioners trained by DIRECT will help improve availability and access to quality services for people with disabilities.
- 12 new disability-related policy developed and/or drafted, with support from DIRECT. These excluded annual disability action plans of Binh Phuoc and Tay Ninh provinces. The highlights among these are the UN Convention on the Rights of persons with Disabilities (CRPD) plan of action approved by the Prime Minister, and Ministry of Health Circular 18, which helps increase insurance coverage for rehabilitation from 33 to 265 new techniques/services or 8 times. In addition, technical procedures of 265 rehabilitation services approved by MOH and cost-calculation of 116 new rehabilitation services made. These are conditions for insurance reimbursements for services.