Resilient female Vietnamese peacekeepers in South Sudan
|Photo: Farewell held for level-2 field hospital No. 3 staff as heading to South Sudan|
|63 Vietnamese peacekeeping officials heading to South Sudan|
|Vietnamese military medicals received COVID-19 vaccine before leaving for South Sudan|
|The peacekeepers at a meeting in South Sudan (Photo: Bao Quoc Te)|
“My first impression of South Sudan was that it was a poor country. Its airport is actually an empty lot which I haven’t seen anywhere else. The weather here is too harsh, with big temperature difference between day and night”, Senior Lieutenant Dong Thi Hung, a nurse at the Surgery Department, Level-2 field hospital, told Bao Quoc Te.
Flying to a distant country to help people, these 10 peacekeepers, who are also wives and mothers have left their family behind. At the workplace, they are dedicated doctors and nurses who would risk their safety for the wellness of patients. After hectic shifts, however, there are time when they could not help but feel reminiscent of their families.
|One doctor doing health examination for one local patient (Photo: Bao Quoc Te)|
“I remember that time, both my husband and kid had dengue fever and were staying in hospital for treatment but I was not home”, Major Ngo Kim Thoa recalled. “It’s kinda sad, you know I’m a doctor but couldn’t do anything except for encouraging them on the phone”. She added that poor Internet connection in South Sudan also disrupts her virtual conversations with family members in Vietnam. On top of that, the 4-hour difference in time zones makes it even more difficult to reach her beloved people.
To ward off stress from work and homesickness, the 10 peacekeepers play an active part in community activities during free time. They join other male peacekeepers at the hospital in making furniture. They grow and take care of the vegetable and flower garden on campus every day. On weekends, healthy meals are prepared from homegrown ingredients.
|They are picking up peanuts at the veggies garden (Photo: Bao Quoc Te)|
Despite the harsh working and living conditions which were worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic, the peacekeepers always put a smile on their radiant faces.
“The optimistic outlook energizes us, fuels us with more strengths to keep dedicating our time and efforts in the country. It also reassures our family back home that we are doing okay here”, Major Bach Thi Thuy Hang, a nurse in the operation room, said. “We are also into feminine things like putting on makeup or taking photos”.
Their photos often capture their relaxing moments at the vegetable garden or colorful flower beds. However, their most favorite background is at the main gate where the logo “LEVEL-2 FIELD HOSPITAL” is clearly shown next to Vietnam’s national flag.
|A photo taken in front of the gate (Photo: Bao Quoc Te)|
In November 2019, medical staff at Level-2 field hospital headed to South Sudan to undertake their mission at the United Nations Peacekeeping Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS). Of the 63 people departing, there were 10 females (3 doctors and 7 nurses).
To date, the facility has examined and treated more than 1,700 patients, transported 9 patients by air, and performed 29 surgeries (including 11 major surgeries). These impressive numbers show the capacity and responsibility of Vietnam to members of the United Nations and local residents.
On the afternoon of March 23, 63 soldiers from the field hospital No. 2 participated in the deployment ceremony before leaving for Bentiu (South Sudan).
After one training year, the soldiers learned to work with advanced trauma, aviation relief, trailer driving, and BRT 152 armored vehicles. At the same time, the training unit organized the lessons for operation training, maintenance, and repair of a number of logistics and technical equipment, sandbox drills, and general field exercises.
Field Hospital no 2 and 3 have carried out UN peacekeeping tasks in the complicated situation of the Covid-19 pandemic. Therefore, 100% of the hospital's staff, before leaving for their duties, were vaccinated against the Covid-19 pandemic and well-trained in Covid-19 prevention and control measures in actual conditions.
|Photo: Peacekeeping force injected with COVID-19 vaccine before leaving for South Sudan |
Injected with the COVID-19 vaccine before leaving for South Sudan, the peacekeeping force feels more confident to perform their tasks.
|Vietnam’s field hospital in South Sudan awarded UN peacekeeping medals |
Vietnamese peacekeepers at Vietnam’s Level-2 Field Hospital No. 2 (L2FH2) in the Republic of South Sudan have been awarded United Nations peacekeeping medals in recognition ...
|Vietnam’s field hospital in South Sudan honored for outstanding contributions |
United Nations Peacekeeping medals were given to Vietnamese peacekeepers at Vietnam’s Level-2 Field Hospital No. 2 (L2FH2) in South Sudan for their outstanding contributions.