In 1989, the ICRC started its physical rehabilitation programme for war amputees at the Rehabilitation Centre in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC Centre).
ICRC assistance ended in March 1995, when the project was taken over by the Special Fund for the Disabled (ICRC-SFD). Besides continuing the provision of free prosthetic fitting to destitute war amputees, ICRC-SFD has progressively promoted the use of polypropylene technology nationwide with training of local technicians, new equipment and materials being donated to rehabilitation centres. Beneficiaries of ICRC-SFD project are patients considered “destitute”, i.e. not covered by the State and unable to pay for their prostheses. Those coming from the surrounding provinces are accommodated free of charge in referral Centres and subsidized by the project for their travel expenses and meals. Although the ICRC-SFD was initially covering only the first device, since 1999 the support has been extending further to replacements of prostheses, with emphasis put on women and children, the latter needing regularly substitute devices due to their growth.
After a successful physical rehabilitation pilot project with the Da Nang Provincial Red Cross Branch for the second half-year of 2001, the ICRC-SFD Project has become, since 2002 onwards, a tripartite co-operation between the MoLISA, the Vietnam Red Cross Society (VNRC) and the ICRC-SFD. Within this new co-operation framework, the tasks of amputee identification, referral and post-fitting follow-up are entrusted to the VNRC and its nation-wide grassroots network. A follow-up scheme was designed to ensure feedback, warranty and a good use of the prostheses.
In 2008, the SFD cooperated with a total twelve rehabilitation centres that offered service coverage for 64 provinces including cooperation with 64 Red Cross branches, thus ensuring nationwide accessibility for physical rehabilitation services. Since 2010, the SFD support decreased and in 2016 the supports is limited to 4 rehabilitation centres located in central and southern region and 1 school located in Hanoi. Today Vietnamese Red Cross branches remain involved in the promotion of access in 3 regions with 6 branches that still receive SFD support. In the recent years the UNCRPD and the WHO World report on disability influenced SFD approach and new partnerships developed with Disabled People Organisations. In Vietnam the SFD has developed partnership with DPOs for the identification and referral of PWDs in need of rehabilitation services (Can Tho 2014 and Danang 2015). This programme does not duplicate with the one developed in collaboration with Vietnamese Red Cross but is complementary targeting different type of disabilities or persons not yet identified through the VNRC network.
The purpose of the assessment is to indicate the way forward for adopting guidelines in view of establishing partnership between SFD and ONS/PNS in order to improve access to physical rehabilitation services and to further promote socio economic integration of PWDs. The assessment will answer number of questions and will propose recommendations based on evidences and findings during field visit and literature review. The recommendations will be organized in such a way that it will ease the production of guidelines for the establishment of partnership with PNS and ONS by SFD. The assessment will be used to update the SFD Programme strategies, objectives and approaches to further improve the outcomes of its activities and will also be used to develop a more inclusive approach to disability.