Ethnic minority healthcare worker active in fight against COVID-19

(VOVWORLD) - Vang A Pao of Chieng Xuan commune, Son La province, goes house to house to explain to local people how to deal with the COVID-19 epidemic. Pao has helped dozens of guest workers returning from China relocate to a nearby quarantine area to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Ethnic minority healthcare worker active in fight against COVID-19 - ảnh 1

Vang A Pao (L) keeps a close watch of the COVID-19 situation in his locality.

Vang A So and 10 other guest workers from Sa Lai village have finished their quarantine period at a nearby military school. So said they were served 3 meals a day and the quarantine facility was fully equipped with all the necessities.

So and his friends returned home from China in early March as the COVID-19 epidemic was spreading. They were persuaded by Vang A Pao to go directly to a quarantine area for a medical examination.

“When we returned, we were very worried. Pao persuaded us that we should go to the quarantine facility for health monitoring because we had just returned from an infected area. We agreed it was best for the safety of everyone,” So said.

Having been a healthcare worker in the village for many years, Vang A Pao knows that Mong ethnic people are often fearful of quarantines. Pao had to patiently explain to local people that the aim of the quarantine was to monitor their health and prevent the spread of the disease, and that it didn’t mean they were imprisoned.

“Many guest workers have returned from China, where the COVID-19 epidemic began. They should go immediately to a quarantine area. If they move around, it’s more difficult to contain the disease. Local people are not familiar with the ‘quarantine’ concept, so I have to explain it to them and persuade them to cooperate,” Pao said. 

Nguyen Quoc Tuan, Deputy Head of Van Ho district’s Healthcare Center, said that when Pao saw that local people were returning from China during an epidemic, he proposed an immediate quarantine.

“Quarantining is an effective measure to keep the disease from spreading. If just one infected person travels around, he could transmit the disease to many others, making it very difficult to contain the situation. Pao has been extremely helpful in the fight against COVID-19,” Tuan said.

Sa Lai village has more than 80 households, scattered along the river and in the forest. Pao is still going into the forest every day to explain to people what the COVID-19 epidemic means and how they can protect themselves and their community.