Staff of Vietnam's first level-2 field hospital take a picture in Ho Chi Minh City before leaving for the UN mission in South Sudan (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – The second level-2 field hospital, recently set up by the Ministry of National Defence, is considered a new landmark in Vietnam’s participation in the United Nations’ peacekeeping operations.

The field hospital no. 2 comprises 70 staff members from the Vietnam Military Medical University. It is making preparations to replace Vietnam’s first level-2 field hospital, which was deployed to the UN mission in South Sudan last October.

Vietnam began joining in UN peacekeeping operations in 2014. In its initial years, the country sent staff and liaison officers and observers to several African nations, including South Sudan and the Central African Republic.

However, these deployments were separate activities and did not reflect Vietnam’s efforts in sending military staff overseas. The first real milestone in its participation in UN peacekeeping operations was the dispatch of the level-2 field hospital no. 1 to Bentiu, South Sudan, on October 1, 2018, said Deputy Minister of National Defence Sen. Lt. Gen. Nguyen Chi Vinh.

He noted that Vietnam has committed to sending another field hospital to peacekeeping operations.

Recently, the Vietnam Department of Peacekeeping Operations opened a pre-deployment training course for staff of the second field hospital to help them gear up for taking over from the first field hospital.

The two hospitals have been designed so that they can be ready to replace each other in peacekeeping operations. 

However, with diverse functions, they will also serve as mobile hospitals in emergency cases, like disaster search and rescue in Vietnam, and take part in multilateral drills.

Lt. Gen. Do Quyet, Director of the Vietnam Military Medical University, said that aside from training in medicine, politics, logistics, and techniques, the university has also paid attention to exchanging professional knowledge between the second hospital’s staff and domestic and foreign experts. For example, they took part in joint exercises with India and Thailand, received training in civil-military coordination in Nepal, and engaged in peacekeeping training under the Global Peace Operations Initiative in Bangladesh and Malaysia, he said.

The hospital’s apparatus has gradually been consolidated to improve its capacity in line with the UN’s standards, including providing check-ups and treatment for a maximum of 40 outpatients per day, conducting three to four surgeries under anaesthesia per day, and providing treatment for 20 inpatients per week. Additionally, the level-2 field hospital no. 2 also needs to have two mobile first-aid teams and keep its equipment and medicine ready for any circumstances.

Vietnam’s deployment of the level-2 field hospital no.2 to UN peacekeeping operations will demonstrate the Vietnamese people’s sense of responsibility towards and contribution to keeping global peace. Each of its staff members is also a peace ambassador of the country in the international arena.–VNA