March 1, 2024

Hospital for Tropical Diseases Receives Vietnam 2023 Medical Achievement Award 

OUCRU’s host and partner in Ho Chi Minh City, the Hospital for Tropical Diseases, was recently honoured with the Vietnam 2023 Medical Achievement Award at an event hosted by Voice of Ho Chi Minh City (VoH).

This honour marks the fourth time the Hospital for Tropical Diseases (HTD) has received this prestigious accolade, a testament to its 30-year commitment to improving the mortality rate of tetanus at healthcare facilities in the region. This achievement also showcases the successful strategic partnership between OUCRU and HTD that has spanned over 30 years. 

At HTD, OUCRU’s research focuses on developing new treatment methods, implementing innovative technology, and conducting clinical trials to assess the effectiveness of treatment protocols. Additionally, OUCRU supports the training of medical staffs, including organising courses and seminars and providing research opportunities for doctors and nurses. This effort enhances their professional capabilities and essential skills needed to manage cases of tetanus and other infectious diseases. 

Photo: The 2023 Medical Achievement Award was granted to HTD by the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Health, honouring the hospital’s exceptional efforts and significant success in lowering the death rate from tetanus. 

30 Years of Combating Tetanus 

Over the past three decades, from 1993 to 2023, HTD has witnessed a significant reduction in the number of tetanus cases, as well as the mortality rate: from nearly 25% down to 10%. Over three decades of dedicated research and improvements in medical practices have also led to a significant shift in the demographics of tetanus patients. There is a noticeable change in the average age of those affected and the ratio of male to female patients within reproductive age. This demographic shift highlights the success of vaccination programs targeting pregnant women, which confer tetanus immunity to both the mother and her newborn child. 

This success is the result of significant investments made in upgrading the hospital’s infrastructure, notably including an increase in the number of available ventilators from 2 to 10. Alongside this, there have been enhancements in the overall quality of treatment and healthcare services provided at HTD. The award acknowledges the accomplishments of the last 30 years and also motivates both the HTD and OUCRU to continue their commitment to enhancing treatment approaches, patient care, and the integration of cutting-edge methods in both research and the clinical management of tetanus. 

The award marks a significant achievement, recognising both the HTD and OUCRU as reputable and high-quality healthcare institutions in Vietnam and on a global scale. 

Doctor Lam Minh Yen’s Contributions 

Prominent in these efforts is the contribution Doctor Lam Minh Yen, Senior Study Doctor at OUCRU and former Deputy Director of HTD. Leveraging her considerable experience and expertise, Dr Yen and her research team have achieved notable improvements in both treating and preventing tetanus. 

Dr Lam Minh Yen, renowned for her expertise in infectious diseases, has significantly contributed to improving patient outcomes, mentored the next generation of medical professionals, and spearheaded initiatives to combat epidemics such as Ebola, Zika, and most recently, COVID-19.  

At HTD, Dr Yen has developed and led both introductory and advanced emergency care training for medical staff, ensured the Intensive Care Unit is well-equipped, and engaged in research to discover new treatments for tetanus. Her expertise is also reflected as a co-author of the “Tetanus” chapter in globally recognized medical textbooks, including “Manson’s Tropical Diseases: Textbook for Critical Care” and “Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine,” which are essential reading in medical schools worldwide. 

Dr Lam Minh Yen, Senior Study Doctor at OUCRU, leads a workshop for adult patients recovering from tetanus.

Thanks to her tireless dedication, Dr Yen was awarded the title of “Outstanding Physician” by Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang in 2012. In 2016, she was recognised as an Australian Alumni Ambassador, one of only 12 selected by the Australian Government from across the global network of more than 2.5 million alumni. At OUCRU, Dr Yen is currently conducting research on Hepatitis C, tetanus, and other infectious diseases, and has published her findings in international medical journals. 

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