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Medical and Scientific Aid for Vietnam, Lao and Cambodia (MSA-VLC) UK provided funding of US$ 9,824 to HEDO for the training program for 100 traditional midwives in Sapa district, Lao cai province at the beginning of 2003.

Sapa is an upland district of Lao Cai province, which is located in Northern Highland areas of Vietnam, 400 km far from Hanoi capital. It heights is average 1,500 meters above the sea level, with the highest mountain in Vietnam - PHANXIPAN - (about 3,143m). Sapa has a rich ethnic minority culture from six ethnic groups, especially H'Mong and Dao ethnic groups account for 78.2% of total population. Sapa is also a famous resort of Vietnam as well as the world.

Due to many difficulties such as low-level education, backward customs, lots of different ethnic groups such as H'Mong, Dao, San Diu, La Chi, Lo Lo, they often pray and worship the God when they are ill and they give birth at home or in forest, do not want to go to the clinic. As a result, maternal and infancy mortality rate is very high even some cases died with simple reasons.

The reason why ethnic minority people want to give birth at home or in forest with support of traditional midwives is that they think old-aged traditional midwives are experienced and they is not shy as they are like their parents. Pitifully, these midwives are not trained with medical knowledge, method of delivering child as well as how to use medical instruments and medication as well as train mothers about reproductive health.

The training program for traditional midwives is to provide medical knowledge and scientific method of delivering in particular and knowledge on reproductive health and family planning in general. In addition, they will be provided with one medical bag including medical instruments and medicines for child delivery at the end of the training course.

© Highland Education Development Organisation (HEDO) 2009
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