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Like father, like son This story is about N. Q. Duoc, an epilepsy patient, whose son suffers from epilepsy as well. He and his wife got support from the Mental Health Development program to build a cage and raise chickens. I usually visit him to monitor his livelihoods activities. Duoc’s house is nearby my house and we are from the same neighborhood, so I didn’t have to spent much time in approaching him and talking with him about the update on his life story. I came to his house in the evening for an interview, Duoc agreed to participate in the interview for an update on his life story. Duoc has 3 children. His first daughter is working now and she can support her parents to take care of the family such as purchasing some furniture as a table and some chairs. She is going to get married too. The second daughter is following a garment class and the last son, the one with epilepsy, is in a vocational training at the disability center. Duoc’s son got support from the Women’s Union so that he does not have to pay a fee, moreover lunch is also covered every day. He studies and stays in the center, and visits his parent in the weekend sometimes. Duoc’s son’s health situation is stable and he has shown some improvement now. His wife, Mrs. Thi is still selling lottery tickets. She goes to town in the morning and comes back home in the afternoon. People in the village feel very happy for Duoc’s family. One year after the baseline life story, Duoc’s symptoms seem to have been declined. He doesn’t have seizures anymore, but he still faces difficulties in moving because his feet are weak. Thanks to his wife’s caring and his own effort, his health is getting better and better. Duoc practices walking around his house every day. He also communicates with villagers more often, hence his mind is more at ease. His wife, Mrs. Thi, after attending the training courses on livestock organized by the Mental Health Development program, registered to receive a loan 2,500,000 (~ 100 USD) to raise chickens. Duoc helps by feeding the chickens. During the daytime, when his wife is going out to sell lottery tickets, Duoc stays at home to do house chores such as cooking and taking care of those chickens. At first, Duoc and his family were raisin 15 chickens. Afterwards, he and

his wife recognized that raising ducks would be more productive within their situation. They decided to raise ducks. They save money at home every day. Those livelihoods activities don’t only help Duoc generate an income, but also helps him to gain an healthy situation to overcome his disease. Every day, his wife instructs him on how to feed ducks and he does it very well. Duoc and his wife participated in the selfhelp group organized by the Thuy Thanh commune women’s union. Sometimes, due to tiredness, Duoc cannot participate in a club meeting. His wife than attends and afterwards she shares her experiences with him about the club activities. Participating in the club meeting, Duoc and his wife can learn experiences on livestock as well as information about mental health related policies in the community. They consider these club meeting as very useful. Duoc doesn’t get as easy irritated with his family members as before. He even loves his wife and expresses his jealousy lovely. He knows how to take care of his children just by talking with them gently. Duoc’s health situation has improved a little bit, but suffers from physically health issues. The most challenging issue for him is aging, the older he gets, the more his physical health reduces. He is afraid that one day he will not be able to take care of the family anymore or cannot look after the chickens and ducks for his wife while she is going out to sell lottery ticket. When I asked how Duoc felt about his family now, Duoc answered: “I feel happy because I can contribute to my family incomes, my daughter is going to get married and my little son is in a vocational training. There have been a lot of happy events this year”. I can see the happiness on his face. I’m still concerned about his physical health. I don’t know if he will be able to still do the same house chores next year, because the older Duoc gets, the weaker he becomes. I think with the support from his family, he will enjoy life much more than in the past. - Phan Thi Suong, commune Women’s Union

Like father, like son  

Read the personal stories behind BasicNeeds Vietnam's patients and health care providers.

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