Small initiative, hug impact - Elderly volunteers with tobacco harm prevention Thursday, 30/05/2019
In Vietnam, the tradition of respecting the elderly has existed for a long time. In the family, grandparents are spiritual supporters, an exemplary role for their children. In the community, they are reputable, have made positive contributions to local issues, including the health sector, one of which is the communication against tobacco harm.
Since 2010, the Vietnam Public Health Association (VPHA) introduced into its field facilities, the model of health care for the elderly volunteers as center. The model has received a lot of support and participation from departments, unions and local authorities at provincial and district levels with the aim to solve the problems of population aging, health care, especially enhancing the role of the elderly in community support in health care and prevention of non-communicable diseases. We expect the model's success when the elderly people are happy and healthy, using their skills and knowledge to participate in communication activities for the community. Receiving the technical and financial support of the Tobacco Control Fund - Ministry of Health and The Union, VPHA has expanded the model in many communes of Tien Hai, Thai Binh and Thanh Binh districts, Dong Thap province. After many years of implementing the model, it has achieved certain achievements; particularly the elderly volunteers have aslo strongly demonstrated their role in tobacco harm prevention.
After participating in the model, the members are self-motivated and lobbied to quit smoking, many peolpe from a 15-year smoker. The members were also trained on knowledge and communication skills, making communication plans in the community, they have actively mobilized to follow the households in the neighborhood and combined to do local media sessions. The members also assigned to each group to mobilize in the area, hanging ban on smoking and messages about the harmful effects of tobacco.
(Photo: Elder of Tien Hai district, Thai Binh practiced group communication)
In addition to implement communication according to the Ministry of Health's tobacco prevention materials, members of the model also created media images and materials, using close and friendly approaches to the life of the community. In An Phong commune, Thanh Binh (Dong Thap), Ms. Phang is one of the most active members of the model for more than 2 years. She has made a model of a smoke-free home to make a communication product when visiting the household. She shared that the leaflets might be torn and the listeners may not remember the whole content but when going to the media and using her model, they will listen visually and remember it better. The images of smoking harm are also frequently cut and pasted by her.
(Photo: Ms. Phang introduces smoke-free House Simulation Model)
(Photo: Smoke-free home simulation model)
In another commune, Tan Binh, Thanh Binh district (Dong Thap), Mr. Sau and the members were extremely excited to introduce the non-smoking area of the residential cluster. After families are committed to building a smoke-free home, members of the model will arrange and set up a common area in the cluster, with seats, in a shady spot near the house. If anyone can not quit smoking, they can go to this area to smoke. In Tan Binh commune, there were 3-4 such areas arranged by the members and received a very positive response from the community.
(Photo: Elderly volunteer Tan Binh commune introduced a non-smoking area of the residential cluster)
The members shared that the following people were propagated, having a better understanding of the harmful effects of tobacco. There are many people who support communication, reducing or even abandoning cigarettes. The members are very proud of their contribution to making positive changes in the community./.