Tiếng Việt


DTU Physician: Malaria Pioneer, Dedicated to Students

During the ten years of his career in education, DTU College of Medicine & Pharmacy (CMP) Vice Provost MD Dr Hoang Ha continuously comes up with new ideas in education, helping medical students obtain better professional levels and to confidently start real-life work.
Bác si c?a ÐH Duy Tân: Tiên phong ch?ng s?t rét, tâm huy?t vì sinh viên
MD Hoang Ha works at the DTU College of Medicine & Pharmacy
Malaria control pioneer in mountain villages
Graduated in Internal Medicine & Pediatrics from Hue Medical University, the young MD Hoang Ha worked for the Medical Corps of the Infantry Corps, 15th Army Corps, Military zone 5. Right after leaving the army (in 1989), he started work at the Quang Tri Provincial Malaria Station as Deputy Director; later he became Director.
From 1990 to 1992, malaria surged in the Vietnam–Laos border area and a lot of people died. MD Ha, the leadership board, and the staff of the malaria station proposed to look for volunteers to prevent and fight malaria in the area. Most of the volunteers at the time were Montagnards of the Pacoh and Bru ethnicities without any education beyond second or third grade.
Several of the students had limited listening, writing, and speaking skills in Vietnamese, making it difficult for them to take in information and instructions against malaria. MD Ha therefore opened a first class “Volunteers against malaria in mountain villages” to teach the Vietnamese language and malaria control to minority volunteers. These volunteers then became the core of the mountain village medical system for the Ministry of Health.
During the training of volunteers, there was one occurrence MD Ha will never forget: “It was during an in-person mountain village medicine training session in A Bung commune, Huong Hoa district, Quang Tri province. Suddenly someone with a severe case of malaria fell into a coma right in the village and they couldn’t bring them to hospital. Together with the medical staff of the district, the commune, and the village, I performed first aid and managed to save their life. Before that, the shaman had been invited but had given them up. From then on, the mountain people therefore placed even greater faith in the medical staff. And the students, after having witnessed and practiced first-hand on this patient, got experience worth several years of clinical practice.”
Bác si c?a ÐH Duy Tân: Tiên phong ch?ng s?t rét, tâm huy?t vì sinh viên
MD Ha (third above at the right) at a conference on malaria control
To spread the model, MD Hoang Ha wrote the paper Building and strengthening volunteer network for malaria control in mountain villages. The paper was published in volume 4 –1994 of the journal of the Branch of Malariology, Parasitology, & Entomology Quy Nhon (now the Institute of Malariology, Parasitology, & Entomology Quy Nhon).
The paper is considered the first on the construction and operation of the Vietnamese mountain village healthcare network, and it is the main reference in the Master’s thesis of the Director of the Branch of Malariology, Parasitology, & Entomology Ho Chi Minh City submitted in Belgium. Right after this in 1995, the Ministry of Health started training and organizing the national mountain village healthcare network.
From 1999 to 2013 when the Malaria Station was fused into the Quang Tri Provincial Preventive Medicine Center, MD Ha was appointed deputy director of the center.
For his notable contributions to medicine in Vietnam - and in Quang Tri province in particular - MD Hoang Ha was awarded the title of Meritorious Doctor by the president in 2009, a certificate of merit from the prime minister for his “achievements in the protection and care of public health”, besides many certificates of merit from the Ministry of Health and the Quang Tri province People’s Committee for achievements in the protection and care of public health through the years from 1990 to 2013.
MD Hoang Ha was also a provincial-level Emulation Fighter from 2006 to 2010 and an institute-level Emulation Fighter for twenty years.
Studying medicine is without limits in time or study content
After obtaining a PhD in public health in 2014, MD Ha decided to become a lecturer. In 2017 he started working at DTU.
Bác si c?a ÐH Duy Tân: Tiên phong ch?ng s?t rét, tâm huy?t vì sinh viên
MD Dr Ha (seventh from left) received a second prize at the Conference on Clinical Applications of Biomedicine in Ho Chi Minh City
Besides lecturing, MD Dr Ha continues his passion for scientific research from the previous years. Together with colleagues from Japan, Laos, and the Medical Committee Netherlands–Vietnam, he researched the status of malaria in the Vietnam–Laos border region. His research group discovered the first new malaria parasite in Vietnam and the fifth type in the world. Two international papers were published about it.
At the Conference on Clinical Applications of Biomedicine in Ho Chi Minh City, MD Dr Ha was awarded a second prize for the presentation “Monkey-to-human infection with Plasmodium knowlesi on the Laos–Vietnam border”. Of note, when the Covid-19 pandemic broke out, MD Dr Ha and four other lecturers opened, following a policy by the Ministry of Health and with the agreement of DTU, three online training classes on Covid-19 vaccination for over 700 CMP lecturers and students.
He is now Vice Provost of the DTU College of Medicine & Pharmacy (CMP) and spends quite a lot of time on management and scientific research, but MD Dr Ha is still highly loved by his students. This is because he does not follow “work hours” but is there whenever his students need him.
“After tens of years, I’ve grown used to the emergency rhythm of medicine,” MD Ha explains. “I also feel for those students just entering the profession, so I always make time to instruct them, explain to them, and shape their characters. If they’re determined to pursue medicine, they should always keep their passion alight, study seriously, and be good both in theory and practice.
“Studying medicine is without limits in time or study content - such is my life and work maxim, and that’s what I want to transmit to all of my students. I hope they can mature very early and put their minds to studying well to avoid lacunae in medicine. Nothing else than the professional abilities acquired in the university auditorium, internships, and practical training will be the ‘miracle’ saving a person’s life when you’re really in the profession, and that’s also what each and every physician strives for.”
(Media Center)