In addition to continuing to improve access to HIV care and treatment in Vietnam, ICEHA clinical mentors have been working on an important, but often forgotten issue in improving the quality of life for HIV patients: palliative care.
Palliative care seeks to improve the quality of life of people living with progressive diseases such as HIV and to alleviate pain and suffering caused by these diseases. This specialized care includes management of pain, end of life care, and emotional and spiritual support for both patients and family members. It is estimated that over half of the 260,000 people living with HIV in Vietnam are in need of palliative care services.
In 2005 and 2006, ICEHA clinical mentors worked with Family Health International and the Ministry of Health in Vietnam on the development of national palliative care guidelines. These guidelines have been finalized and another ICEHA mentor recently continued this important effort by working on a palliative care certification program for nurses in Vietnam. This program will help ensure that Vietnamese nurses are fully trained on how to implement the palliative care guidelines and to improve the quality of life for patients throughout Vietnam.
For more information visit: www.iceha.org
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