Speech Pathology around the World
Vietnam: Last year I travelled through Vietnam and absolutely loved it. When I came home, I was speaking with the Podiatrist at work and he mentioned that there was a program for speech pathology in Vietnam. Through research, I came across the Trinh Foundation. On their website, they provide a history of speech pathology in Vietnam. I’ve used this history as a basis for this week’s “Speech Pathology around the World” blog.
Speech Pathology or Âm ngữ trị liệu is a new field in Vietnam. In 1998 Dr Charlotte Ducote from New Orleans, co-founded Operation Smile Speech Therapy Vietnam project (largely related to cleft lip/palate). In 2001, ASHA published Dr Ducote account of her initial experiences:
I have learned more each year about being an effective “speech therapist” in Vietnam —”speech therapy” is the preferred term in Vietnam for speech-language pathology. Ours is a nascent discipline there that is showing promise of further development, but so much more needs to be done to establish university training programs and comprehensive services for people with communication disorders. Despite the challenges, it has been this need that has made me want to return to work in this Southeast Asian country and to network with others who are interested in doing so.
You can read Dr Ducote’s article: A Speech-Language Pathologist in Vietnam
Early Australian SP pioneers in Vietnam began developing education opportunities and staff training programs from 2001. Through Charles Sturt University and the Phu My orphanage in Ho Chi Minh City, a student clinical education program was developed. The University of Queensland has also become involved through the work of Professor Lindy McAllister.
According the Trinh Foundation, there has been significant interest expressed in speech pathology from local medical, health and education professionals. Despite interest and enthusiasm, SP volunteers noted that there was a significant lack of knowledge in the area of speech and swallow rehabilitation, both for adults and children.
Again, great efforts by enthusiastic and dedicated speech pathologist’s saw a solution to this knowledge gap develop. As per the Trinh Foundation’s website, the following action was taken:
“Until September 2010, there were no formal training courses for Speech-language Therapists in Vietnam. Vietnam’s first ever Speech-language Therapy course was completed at Pham Ngoc Thach University of Medicine, Ho Chi Minh City with a Graduation Ceremony at the University on 21 September 2012. The second course is now underway with an Opening Ceremony following the Graduation. These courses, in the form of a full-time two year Post-graduate Traineeship, have been instigated and financially supported by Trinh Foundation Australia.” (Trinh Foundation)
Given the International Communication Project that is being developed through 2014, it is great to see resources, time and effort of individual and groups of clinician striving to bring the importance of communication to the forefront of child health on an international level.
Below are further resources and links for your information. The VN Speech Therapy link contains some great resources for early speech and language intervention training, translated into Vietnamese.
We would love to hear if anyone has any stories from working in Vietnam as a volunteer!
Contact us for results focused speech therapy
This article was written by our speech pathologist Jenna Butterworth who is a Speech Pathology Australia member.
If you have questions about results focused speech therapy, contact your local doctor who will arrange for you to see a speech pathologist in Sydney.