AN agreement signed by Boehringer Ingelheim with Vietnam’s Department of Medical Service Administration is set to optimise health outcomes for Vietnamese patients.
In June 2023, local media reported that the collaboration between one of the world’s leading biopharmaceutical research-oriented corporations and Vietnam’s ministry of health was expected to improve diagnosis, treatment and management of cardiovascular, renal, metabolic, pulmonary, and other noncommunicable diseases (NCDs). The aims were to reduce treatment costs and social costs and improve the quality of life for patients, as the result of activities that include support for continuous medical education, better treatment quality, and raising community awareness about NCDs.
NCDs are responsible for 41 million deaths per annum, or 74 percent of all deaths, according to the World Health Organization. The majority (77 percent) of these deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries, including Vietnam.
The new partnership was part of a long-term commitment to help address unmet medical needs, Ms. Cyndy Bautista-Galimpin, General Manager of Boehringer Ingelheim Vietnam, said. “It is in line with our purpose of Transforming Lives for Generations.”
The signing ceremony formed part of a programme of events to mark the 25th anniversary of Boehringer Ingelheim in Vietnam.
The media buzz generated by this landmark event (celebrated in no fewer than seven local publications) has also shone the light on the work of the Angels Initiative, through which Boehringer Ingelheim supports broadening patients’ access to medicine by partnering with the World Stroke Organization (WSO) and numerous other stroke societies and health institutions to improve stroke care. The aim is to build a worldwide network of stroke-ready hospitals and stroke centres where patients can access evidence-based treatment for acute ischemic stroke.
The Angels Initiative started its work in Vietnam in 2017 and works closely with the Vietnam Stroke Association, the Ho Chi Minh Stroke Association and local hospitals to raise the standard of stroke care in the country. By the end of 2022, 120 hospitals had joined the Angels project, positively impacting over 44,000 patients.
The Vietnamese stroke community has consistently been a top performer in the WSO Angels Awards programme, which recognises stroke care excellence and promotes data collection for quality monitoring. The number of Vietnamese hospitals meeting the awards criteria grew from 17 in 2019 to 77 in 2022 – the second-highest number of WSO Angels Awards won by any country last year. Seven hospitals achieved diamond awards, given to hospitals that deliver the highest level of care.
Commenting on the awards, Angels Team Leader in Vietnam, Trang Nguyen, said that her team encouraged hospitals to see the awards not just as a prize, but as a highly effective instrument for enhancing the quality of stroke treatment. By entering their treatment data in the international stroke care improvement registry, RES-Q, hospitals receive valuable feedback that helps them target opportunities for improvement.
She says, “We demonstrate the benefits of participation in continuous quality monitoring, such as using data to do research and publish articles in prestigious journals, improving treatment outcomes by shortening treatment times, and increasing the number of patients treated in each unit.
“The awards programme also delivers data to specialists and administrators so they can provide options for growing and enhancing stroke care in Vietnam and globally. The WSO Angels awards criteria can be used to improve stroke care quality nationwide, not only in hospitals that join Angels Initiative programme.
“Everything we do is ultimately geared toward giving stroke patients a second chance at life.”