Vietnam - Day 5

Michael asked me if I travelled all this way just for the food, so just for today I won't mention how good the food is, oops too late I've done it again! The hospital is a fine modern building but still sometimes there are more patients than beds and at times there may be two to a bed. I also forgot to mention yesterday that the hospital deals with both adults and children. And it was just brilliant to see how happy the kids were when they received the simple toys and gifts we brought for them, one little lad jumped and ran around the corridor for joy. I have a feeling Fiona would happily steal one away, they are such wonderful little boys.

Seeing and listening to these young men and the parents brought me back to the 60-70s in Ireland before there was effective treatment. Here they are stuck into a vicious circle. There is not sufficient treatment so the boys miss a lot of school, they are becoming disabled with impaired limbs, their education suffers greatly, so they cannot get proper jobs due to their poor education and their disability, so they have a poor quality of life that is very frustrating for them. The funny thing is that they have a lovely modern hospital, all be it with too few beds at times, great doctors, and just as important good nurses, but they don't have enough treatment to allow these young men live a full, healthy, and good quality life. They are looking to the I.H.S. to help them organise an efficient and effective Society that will help them over time to deliver the comprehensive treatment they deserve.

Tomorrow we visit one of the regions about 100km from Hanoi where we will meet some families and see some of the sights. We have also been invited to part of a traditional Vietnamese wedding, so early to bed tonight!