A campaign to offer free check-ups and basic treatment for 1 million low-income people in rural areas has proven beneficial, improving community awareness and helping medical staff sympathise with natives’ difficulties, said Director of the Hanoi-based Bach Mai Hospital Nguyen Quoc Anh.

The drive, taking place from November 2, 2014, to February 15, 2015, was launched by the Vietnam Red Cross, the Ministry of Health, the General Department of Politics of the Vietnam People’s Army, and the Vietnam Young Physicians’ Association.

Anh said in early November 2014, the Bach Mai Hospital sent 60 medical workers to give check-ups and administer medication to 1,000 people in the Lang Chanh and Thuong Xuan districts of central Thanh Hoa province.

The Central Maternity Hospital also joined in the campaign when it coordinated with the General Hospital of Ha Lang district, the northern mountainous province of Cao Bang, to provide free examinations and medicine to more than 2,200 people from December 12-15, 2014. Earlier the same month, another 1,500 people in Cao Bang’s Ha Quang district benefited from humanitarian activities of the Central Maternity Hospital.

According to the Ministry of Health’s Medical Examination and Treatment Department, on the campaign’s launching day (November 2), medical staff from six major hospitals embarked on trips to rural districts to provide aid to more than 38,000 people and present over 11,000 gift packages.

Additionally, they offered training for local residents in first-aid, hand washing skills, and communication activities to raise public awareness of locally produced medicine and organ donation. They also transferred technology and presented medical equipment to local clinics, including blankets, clothes, and food to support patients and community members, said deputy head of the department Nguyen Trong Khoa.

He noted this is the first time such a large-scale medical campaign has been held in Vietnam, thanks to donations received from a number of localities, organisations, and individuals.-VNA