Life Life

03/02/2021 - 09:40

Dr. Nguyen Thi Hoang Yen and her dream for children

Among the outstanding young lecturers honored in 2020, Dr. Nguyen Thi Hoang Yen (Hue University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Hue University) is a special face. At the age of 34, she is still "not willing" to get married. After being asked for the reason, she was hesitating: "Maybe I'm "busy" fulfiling a dream for Hue children."

Dr. Nguyen Thi Hoang Yen doing dental examination for children

From compassion towards poor children

Returning after a community trip in Huong Van ward, Huong Tra town, Dr. Nguyen Thi Hoang Yen could not hide the tiredness after days of working at 100% of her capacity. When we met, I could feel that she was as happy and close as every time she met the local people and poor children in the remote areas.

She started to tell stories about children. Born in the countryside of Tu Tay, Thuy An commune (now An Tay ward, Hue city), in a large family which was not very well-off, she was close to many friends that came from families in difficult circumstances.

When she went to the university, volunteering in many community activities, the image of poor people and children in remote areas suffering from dental disease without treatment became her obsession.

“I wanted to do many things, but, as a student, I found it difficult to borrow equipment to cure the patients. I had to make a promise in my heart”, Dr. Yen recalled.

Graduating with an excellent degree and being offered a job at the university, Nguyen Thi Hoang Yen was directed by the Faculty of Dentistry to focus on her personal strengths, minor surgery, but deep in her heart, Dr. Yen had the desire to support the community.

In 2013, when receiving a scholarship from the Government of Japan to study for a doctorate in dentistry at the Tokyo Medical University, the young teacher did not hesitate to choose "The situation of tooth decay of children in Thua Thien Hue and the solution to prevent tooth decay” as a doctoral thesis topic.

During her time as a PhD student in Japan, she returned to Hue several times to collect data. Every time, she spent the last week before going back to Japan to give dental examination to children in rural areas.

Leaving Phu Bai airport to return to Japan, with statistics result showing nearly 90% of children aged 2 to 5 years old suffering from tooth decay, she told herself: "I have to do something".

Pursuing a major in Community Dental was what many people could guess about Dr. Nguyen Thi Hoang Yen, but putting her whole energy and taking advantage of resources for community service activities was not easy for everyone to understand. In addition to connecting the Niikura Organization - Japan to coordinate the library support program for elementary schools in the rural areas of Thua Thien Hue (10 schools until now), she focused heavily on community activities to prevent children from having tooth decay.

Recalling the old story, Dr. Nguyen Thi Hoang Yen said that her passion for community activities was in her blood. “I returned to Vietnam after completing my study in Japan in September 2017. At that time, I worked in the hospital teaching, researching, examining and treating diseases, also taking students to some community trips to educate local pupils on oral health, giving dental examination, counseling and treatment of some oral diseases to the local, especially children. With the support from the university and the department, I was also able to borrow equipment to help people with medical treatment. Each time I went to those places, I would stay for a whole week, spending that time with all my students.”

Those community activities from the university plan only partially satisfied Dr. Yen. Taking advantage of her free time during the year, she also travels using her own money to go to rural areas to organize tooth decay prevention programs for children, also, she joins in groups of voluntary doctors conducting medical examination. She said: "Whenever there is a chance, I would go".

Dr. Nguyen Van Quang, Secretary of the Hue University Youth Union, after the Ceremony of Commending exemplary young lecturer in 2020, also gave Dr. Nguyen Thi Hoang Yen a lot of compliments.

According to Dr. Nguyen Van Quang, Ms. Yen had all the factors worthy to be honored, not only for her good performance in teaching and scientific research but also in many volunteer activities. For young officials, it is very commendable to arrange (her) work to take part in community activities actively.

Temporarily put aside her own dream

There is a strange thing about Dr. Nguyen Thi Hoang Yen _ 34 years old and her "marital status" is still on single “mode”. When being asked for the reason, half in jest, she said: "Perhaps the need to get married is not really urgent for me."

Those who have been accompanying Nguyen Thi Hoang Yen admitted that, since 2008, when she joined the Standing Committee of the Youth Union of Hue University of Medicine and Pharmacy and became the head of the Blue Blouse Club, Vice Chairman of the Live Blood Bank Club (2011 - 2013), all have witnessed the fire in her until now, the only difference is the area of activity, covering the prevention of oral diseases for children.

Dr. Yen expressed: "I work to the fullest of my strength. The time for getting married will also come, but not in a hurry yet. Being single is sometimes a privilege. As working in the community, it is impossible to leave your family and travel from week to week”.

Every time she met me, Ms. Yen said that she was predestined to community activities and seemed to owe a "debt" to the children. Because many parents have not understood about dental hygiene prophylaxis for their children, she tried to help them. “Just keep on going, maybe one day my little dream for children without dental diseases will come true”.

In November 2020, Dr. Nguyen Thi Hoang Yen received a certificate of merit from the Youth Union of Hue University in the 1st Ceremony of Commending "Exemplary Young Lecturer", 2020. At the same time, she also received the Certificate of Merit from the Provincial Youth Union during the Ceremony of Commending "Exemplary Young Lecturer” for the 2nd time, 2020.

Story and photo: Minh Tam