HIF COVID-19 Relief Efforts
As we have previously reported, Hanoi International Fellowship (HIF) was blessed with multiple opportunities to love Hanoi through the support of several local hospitals during the height of the COVID-19 outbreaks.
When Vietnam closed its borders on March 22, 2020, the government implemented a strict social distancing policy. The following week, on March 29, there was an outbreak of COVID-19 at Bach Mai Hospital, which was placed under quarantine for 14 days, through April 12.
On March 31, HIF began organizing COVID-19 Hospital Outreach, donating funds and putting out a call to the congregation to support the effort. Pastor Jason Fizzard and Pastor Jacob Bloemberg put together a team that included Huong Quan, Keith Tracy, Jill Fizzard, Pauline Cherian, Jamie Edwards, Cuong Nguyen, Peter Mazuca, and Thanh Tu of Love In Action.
Several members of the team had providentially already established contact with key individuals at several local hospitals. Pauline Cherian volunteered for National Children’s Hospital; Peter Mazuca, through his involvement with Healing Hearts, had built a relationship of trust with head deputy Nurse Giang Nguyen at Bach Mai Hospital; and HIF also #198 Army and Police Hospital in MyDinh over time. Having established trust within these organizations allowed HIF to avoid getting tangled in the complex bureaucracy that would have delayed support. As a result, HIF was able to deliver the needed supplies as soon as they could be collected.
Jill Fizzard acted as treasurer and lead coordinator for HIF COVID-19 Outreach. Huong Quan, owner of Wordplay English Language Center, acted as deputy coordinator, ordering and purchasing supplies, as well as translating between HIF and the hospitals. Thanh Tu, Cuong Nguyen, and Keith Tracy helped with deliveries to each location.
April 2 – Bach Mai Hospital
After inquiring after the hospital’s needs, HIF CityPartners delivered 58,000,000 VND worth of masks, gloves, hazard suits, and hair dryers to Bach Mai Hospital during their 14-day quarantine. During that time, no one was permitted to leave or enter the hospital, including off-shift doctors and nurses, as well as the families of the patients.
April 11 - #198 Army & Police Hospital
April 24 – National Children’s Hospital
HIF City Partners delivered 40,000,000 VND worth of PPE: 100 sets of protective gear and 120 boxes of medical masks.
April 27 – Bach Mai Hospital delivery #2
Of note, in Vietnam, families of patients typically provide all personal care, including feeding, bathing, and clothing patients, as well as transferring them from one part of the hospital to another; nurses only provide medical care. During the lockdown, however, since no family members were permitted to enter the hospital, nurses initiated a new policy of offering full care to the patients.
To support the nurses in this new policy, HIF CityPartners delivered 22,000,000 VND of 46 walkers and 25 back braces. The walkers were given to patients who could walk on their own, in order to free hospital wheelchairs for use by the most critically ill patients. The back braces were for the nurses, to ease the strain of the additional lifting brought on by the loss of family support.
In total, 160,000,000 VND of medical and other supplies were delivered by HIF COVID-19 Outreach in April 2020.
We believe the Lord will continue to use HIF in the future to provide support for medical ministries in Hanoi and around Vietnam.