J594N Speech Language Therapy in Vietnam

Vietnam, Southeast Asia

The Situation

There is growing awareness of speech therapy as a profession in Vietnam and its potential to assist a wide range and number of children and adults with communication and swallowing disabilities. The desire to acquire relevant knowledge and skills is particularly strong among rehabilitation specialist doctors, nurses, teachers and physical therapists as well as dentists and ear nose and throat physicians, who through their training and clinical practice already have some knowledge of speech therapy and the benefits it provides to the target population.

The knowledge of best practice internationally and aspirations for family members in a growing middle class, is seeing an increasing demand for speech-language therapy as part of early intervention and special education for children with disabilities and for rehabilitation services for adults. Stroke and head injury units are being established in the major hospitals in Vietnam but cannot offer a complete rehabilitation program because of the lack of speech-language therapists in the country.

While significant progress has been made in awareness-raising, skills development and access to services there is a critical need to increase the number of qualified speech therapists throughout the country beyond major cities such as HCMC and to consolidate the knowledge of current graduates through continuing professional development and knowledge transfer to develop future Vietnamese leaders of the profession.

The needs of families, clinicians and healthcare services can be addressed by providing further education about speech-language therapy for professional staff in institutions across Vietnam and by establishing university degree programs in speech-language therapy in Vietnam.

There are also very few resources related to speech-language therapy such as textbooks, educational materials for staff and parents, equipment and therapy aids. These need to be further developed as speech-language therapy services develop across Vietnam.

The Objectives

  • The focus for this project is to consolidate the basic skills and knowledge of Vietnamese SLTs and develop leadership capability through mentoring, continuing professional development, capacity building and knowledge transfer within the profession and ultimately across the health and education sectors, and the broader population. It builds on the successful establishment of the SLT profession in Vietnam and focuses on creating capacity to ensure sustainability and self-sufficiency for the future.

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