My name is Nguyen Ha Linh and I'm from Vietnam.

I would like to share my living experience and information about my condition with people having the same condition as me, how I overcame the pain, and how I accepted the reality of my illness and battled it to continue living a meaningful life.

Visual Diary

21 September 2021

A happy life before the illness

My name is Nguyen Ha Linh. I’ve lived with multiple sclerosis for 14 years. This disease is not congenital, so until age 23, I lived normally as a graphic designer in Vietnam. My early symptoms included weakening of my arms and legs until I gradually became paralyzed. I developed atrophy of the nerve in my eyes, so I can’t see anything. Moreover, I’ve had challenges in accessing medical examination and treatment services because only one public hospital in Vietnam has a treatment regimen for my disease. At first, I was very confused and desperate, but now I’ve stabilized my mind and accepted the situation.

linh_nguyen_ha-photo_1.jpg
Visual Diary

21 September 2021

Facing the illness

Currently, my condition is in the final stage. I can only lie in bed, unable to sit in a wheelchair. It is hard to breathe, so I need to use oxygen. All my activities depend on the care of my relatives. The challenges I face include lack of access to treatment (because my condition is a rare disease) and financial burden (expenses for this illness are higher than my income). Unfortunately, multiple sclerosis is not covered by insurance in Vietnam, so I must pay for my care out of pocket, with financial support from my relatives.

linh_nguyen_ha-photo_2.jpg
Visual Diary

21 September 2021

People living with multiple sclerosis in Vietnam

Multiple sclerosis is considered a rare disease in Vietnam. People living with this condition find it very difficult to access diagnosis and care, and not all major hospitals have the resources for treatment. For those that manage to access care for multiple sclerosis, this is very expensive, and is not covered by the national health insurance in Vietnam. Therefore, people living with multiple sclerosis who face financial challenges often focus on advocating for funding from philanthropists who care about the cause of people who are living with a disability.

linh_nguyen_ha-photo_3.jpg
Visual Diary

21 September 2021

People living with NCDs in Vietnam

In Vietnam, the national fund for health care primarily allocates support towards medical treatment. However, many challenges related to treatment, care and support for people living with NCDs remain largely unaddressed. In particular, the components of care and support are weak, which therefore means that relatives play an important role for those who have a good support system at home, which is not always the case. People living with NCDs would like to call on the government to change the regulations around health insurance to allow access to affordable diagnostics and care to help us have a better life.

linh_nguyen_ha-photo_4.jpg
Visual Diary

21 September 2021

You and I, we can promote the change together

I hope that organizations and communities, in Vietnam and globally, increase support for people living with NCDs, including multiple sclerosis. Moreover, I hope for improved access to treatment, care and support. I call on the Vietnamese government to give economic support packages to people living with NCDs, especially people with disabilities, because many are paralyzed, unable to support themselves and earn a living.

Through sharing my experience, I hope to reveal a practical view of this condition in Vietnam and help more people living with multiple sclerosis to gain confidence, stability and to receive the care they need.

linh_nguyen_ha-photo_5.jpg

NCD Diaries


Through sharing my experience, I hope to reveal a practical view of multiple sclerosis in Vietnam and help more people living with multiple sclerosis to gain confidence, stability and to receive the care they need through affordable treatment options.

Linh Nguyen Ha, lived experience of multiple sclerosis, Vietnam

About NCD DIARIES

The NCD Diaries use rich and immersive multimedia approaches to share lived experiences to drive change, using a public narrative framework.

Explore NCD diaries

Podcast Diary icon Christopher Agbega

Christopher Agbega

Written Diary icon Noura Arnous

Noura Arnous

Written Diary icon Sabiha Khan

Sabiha Khan

Visual Diary icon Kenneth Ngwira Mkandawire

Kenneth Ngwira Mkandawire

Visual Diary icon Modina Khatun

Modina Khatun

Visual Diary icon Benjamin Olorunfemi

Benjamin Olorunfemi

Visual Diary icon Nkiruka Okoro

Nkiruka Okoro

Visual Diary icon Jotham Johnson

Jotham Johnson

Podcast Diary icon Snehal Nandagawli

Snehal Nandagawli

Written Diary icon Mariana Gomez

Mariana Gomez

Written Diary icon Karmila Munadi

Karmila Munadi

Written Diary icon Evelyn Santos

Evelyn Santos

Written Diary icon Grace Achodo

Grace Achodo

Written Diary icon Maryanne Njuguna

Maryanne Njuguna

Written Diary icon Joselyne Simiyu

Joselyne Simiyu

Visual Diary icon Anita Sabidi

Anita Sabidi

Written Diary icon Wendy Reaser

Wendy Reaser

Written Diary icon Takwe Boniface Njecko

Takwe Boniface Njecko

Written Diary icon Chitrika De Mel

Chitrika De Mel

Written Diary icon Joseph Rukelibuga

Joseph Rukelibuga

Visual Diary icon Lucía Feito Allonca

Lucia Feito Allonca

Written Diary icon Brenda Chitindi

Brenda Chitindi

Podcast Diary icon Chikhulupiliro Stanley Ng'ombe

Chikhulupiliro Stanley Ng'ombe

Visual Diary icon Neema Mohamed

Neema Mohamed

Visual Diary icon Oduor Kevin Otieno

Oduor Kevin

Written Diary icon Ashla Rani MP

Ashla Rani MP

Visual Diary icon Katherine Berkoh

Katherine Berkoh

Visual Diary icon Mirriam Wakanyi

Mirriam Wakanyi

Visual Diary icon Amber Huett-Garcia

Amber Huett-Garcia

Visual Diary icon Mazeda Begum

Begum Mazeda

Visual Diary icon Linh Nguyen Ha

Linh Nguyen Ha

Podcast Diary icon Omar Abureesh

Omar Abu Reesh

Podcast Diary icon Liz  Owino

Liz Achieng Owino

Written Diary icon John Gikonyo

John Gikonyo

Written Diary icon Samuel Kumwanje

Samuel Kumwanje

Written Diary icon Jean Marie Blaise Migabo

Jean Marie Migabo

Written Diary icon Edith Mukantwari

Edith Mukantwari

Written Diary icon Adjo Rose Lankou

Adjo Rose Lankou

Visual Diary icon Gloria Haro

Gloria Haro

Visual Diary icon Rohan Arora

Rohan Arora

Visual Diary icon Robert Onyango

Robert Onyango

Podcast Diary icon Vijayalakshimy Silvathorai

Vijayalakshimy Silvathorai

Podcast Diary icon Allison Ibrahim

Allison Ibrahim

Podcast Diary icon Seema Bali

Seema Bali

Visual Diary icon Salome Agallo

Salome Agallo

Visual Diary icon Ama Quainoo

Ama Quainoo

Visual Diary icon Betsy Rodriguez

Betsy Rodriguez

Visual Diary icon Vivian Gyasi Sarfo

Vivian Gyasi Sarfo

Visual Diary icon Lion Osarenkhoe Chima-Nwogwugwu

Lion Chima-Nwogwugwu

Written Diary icon Shamim Talukder

Shamim Talukder

Written Diary icon Jazz Sethi

Jazz Sethi

Written Diary icon Michael Donohoe

Michael Donohoe

Written Diary icon Jaime Barba

Jaime Barba

Written Diary icon Stephen Ogweno

Stephen Ogweno

The latest theme is

Equity and UHC

View the Diaries