In Viet Nam, people with disabilities are struggling to find appropriate health care during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Viet Nam: People with disabilities rocked by impact of COVID-19

Article 06 August 2020 Viet Nam

Across the world, the COVID-19 pandemic has had varying effects on people. Unfortunately, for those with disabilities it has added an additional aspect to their ongoing struggles. In Viet Nam, a necessity like access to health care is increasingly getting out of reach for people with disabilities, such as Chu Sau and Nguyen Van Phuc, whose lives have been dramatically affected by the pandemic.

Chu Sau, a lottery seller with physical impairments, could not make a living during the lockdown in Viet Nam as he was unable to sell tickets. Similarly, Nguyen Van Phuc's customer service work became redundant as the entire tourism industry was rocked by COVID-19

People with disabilities rocked by the impact of COVID-19 in Viet Nam from ICRC on Vimeo.

Can Tho Orthopedic and Rehabilitation Hospital, supported by the ICRC since 2004, has been the mainstay for people with disabilities, offering services dating back to 1972. Since 2017, the hospital has treated almost 20,000 patients. Its work with the ICRC contributes to almost 40 per cent of all the orthopaedic treatments offered at the centre.

However, COVID-19 has severely hit the rehabilitation hospital too. The facility's capacity has been reduced by almost 30 per cent and the services have been prioritized to treating emergency cases.