Hoc Mai Foundation
The University of Sydney
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Maternal and Child Health Program and projects

Dien Bien Phu Project

Baby and Mother at Dien Bien Phu

Dien Bien Province, in the remote, mountainous north-west of Vietnam, is home to 21 ethnic minority groups with low literacy levels and poor access to health care. The province has one of the highest rates of maternal (4 per 1000) and infant (>35 per 1000) mortality in the world. However, health professionals have few educational opportunities and limited equipment... (read more)

Dien Bien Phu Project  

Tu Du Hospital Project - Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC)


In 2007, The Học Mãi Foundation was successful in its application to the University of Sydney’s International Programme Development Fund for a project that will strengthen ties with the largest maternity hospital in Vietnam, Tu Du Hospital in Ho Chi Minh City. There are over 40,000 babies born at this remarkable hospital every year, with many women travelling considerable distances to receive their medical care.

The aims of the project are to:

  • introduce small group multidisciplinary teaching to Tu Du Hospital;
  • train local doctors and nurses in new educational methods; and
  • lower perinatal mortality and morbidity.
Professor Morris at Tu Du Hospital

Specifically, a workshop will be held at Tu Du Hospital in 2008 that will focus on the teaching of important perinatal skills such as fetal welfare assessment, emergency obstetric management and neonatal resuscitation. These techniques in perinatal care have been successfully used by Học Mãi Foundation teachers in Dien Bien Phu and Hanoi and have been well received by the participants. The Học Mãi Foundation teachers will have skills in educational methods as well as expertise in obstetrics, midwifery, neonatology and nursing. It is hoped that such an educational interventional will encourage further uptake of evidenced based practice.

The project will also develop the teaching skills of a number of scholars from Tu Du Hospital who were recently in Australia as part of the AUSAID programme. Their ongoing involvement will ensure that capacity is built within Tu Du Hospital for modern educational methods. Strategically this is very important and the Học Mãi Foundation is excited by the potential for the work at Tu Du Hospital to have an impact on the health and wellbeing of many of Vietnam’s mothers and babies.

The team led by Professor Jonathan Morris visited TuDu Hospital from 10 to 14 Novemeber 2008.

A visit to TuDu Hospital - HCMC


During November 2007, Dr Jane Hirst (then a Senior Registrar, Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Royal North Shore Hospital) was fortunate enough to spend three weeks in Tu Du Maternity Hospital Ho Chi Minh City.....

Dr Jane Hirst report  

In 2008, Dr Jane Hirst's work with and committment to Maternal and Child Health in Vietnam through the Học Mãi Foundation has been recognised and she has been awarded the Christopher Kohlenberg Medal at the RANZCOG NSW/Qld Annual Scientific Meeting and the Shan S Ratnam Young Gynaecologist Award to attend the Asia Oceania Federation of Obstetrics & Gynaecology Biannual scientific meeting.

Dr Jane Hirst