On June 14, HILC coalition member, the Group for Equality and Development of Women with Disabilities, organized a workshop to raise awareness on COVID-19 treatment and recovery for women with disabilities. In the opening session, the chairwoman of the group, Nguyen Thanh Thuy, highlighted that the workshop aimed to strengthen health self-care for women with disabilities during and after the pandemic. The chairwoman of Hanoi Association of People with Visual Disabilities emphasized the need to keep being proactive even though the pandemic is still ongoing. A medical expert, Le Trung Quyet, suggested the participants need to differentiate between COVID-19 symptoms and other illnesses and learn how to treat COVID-19 symptoms. The Head of the Exploration and Rehabilitation Department of Hanoi Lung Hospital, Dr. Nguyen Phuong Anh, stated that the risk of women being infected by COVID-19 is double that of men.  Steps to prevent COVID-19 include minimizing physical contact with others,  limiting smoking and alcohol intake and staying hydrated. Three female participants with disabilities shared their experiences of dealing with the pandemic. Hong Thi Cuc from Phuc Tho Association of Persons with Visual Disabilities said she became infected through her deaf mother who tested positive for COVID-19. Le Thi Boi Huong from Thanh Xuan District Association of Persons with Visual Disabilities shared her frustration because of her comorbid disease. A UNDP Vietnam representative, Dao Thu Huong, shared her experience when conducting UNDP research on COVID-19 in 2020 and 2021, describing how she became aware that COVID-19 has impacted not only one’s physical health but also mental health. The workshop was attended by approximately 100 representatives from organizations of persons with disabilities (OPDs) in Hanoi, including 60 women with visual disabilities. The full article of the event can be accessed here.

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