After 17 years sealing himself to Hue Universisy of Medicine and Pharmacy (HUMP), Prof. Piero Cappuccinelli of Sassari University (member of the Italian Lincean National Academy, manager of Carlo Urbani Project Director, honorary professor of Hue University), takes the school as his second home. On his recent trip back to Hue, Professor Piero Cappuccinelli gave Thua Thien Hue Weekly an open conversation .

Prof.  Piero Cappuccinelli

The cooperation model between the University of Sassari of Italy and the Hue University of Medicine and Pharmacy is taken as a good model for other universities to learn from. You must be very pleased with the result, professor?

The University of Sassari, Italy and Hue University of Medicine and Pharmacy have a very good relationship. I feel very pleased. I would like to emphasize that this is a very stable and long-lasting relationship, which began in 2001 and is still in its progressive stage.

In your opinion, among  the achievements that have been reached, which one  is the most important?

The most important achievement is in training, especially postgraduate training as human resource training is the key to all other successes. The cooperative projects between the two universities so far have mainly focused on strengthening human resources for Hue University of Medicine and Pharmacy, which includes developing its infrastructure and providing equipment.  However, a large part of the projects is for human resource training and standardization of professional skills as well as other training formats.

The specific results in human resource training are: 19 Doctors of HUMP have completed their doctoral training program at Sassari University or are in the process of completing the course; In terms of Master’s degree education, especially in biomedical technology, there are over 60 graduates.

We have organized many clinical training courses not only for the staff members of HUMP but also for the staff from other health facilities in Central Vietnam through Carlo Urbani project. After completing the doctorate course, they are now holding the key positions in various offices and departments of HUMP. I think this is one of the great contributions of the project to the development of the school.

At the third-level biosafety laboratory & Carlo Urbani Center

What can you say more about the outstanding results of Carlo Urbani project?

The project lasted 10 years (from 2007 to 2017) and went through 3 phases with the main goal to control acute respiratory tract infections. During the course of the project, many training courses in prevention and treatment of acute respiratory tract infections, especially highly contagious diseases were  organized for health workers of Hue and of other central provinces.

Within the framework of the project, we have built a third-level biosafety laboratory – a very high level for the diagnosis of dangerous disease-causing microorganisms. We have also built an intensive care unit at the HUMP Hospital, where there are rooms dedicated to cases of acute and severe respiratory infections.

Till last year, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and Hue, were the only three cities that owned third-level biosafety labs.

During the course of cooperation with Hue University of Medicine and Pharmacy, what has impressed you most?

I have been in Hue for 17 years and feel very impressed with the rapid development of Hue University of Medicine and Pharmacy.

Carlo Urbani project ended last year and I am still here in Hue to give support to a project funded by the Italian Government and my own direct support to  Hue University of Medicine and Pharmacy in two components: building a biomedical institute (preparing equipment for the development of biomedical research) and constructing a 7-storey building for the HUMP Hospital to provide medical care for patients.

This is a collaboration not only of university level but of state level as well, which is the support from the Italian government to Vietnam. The project is based at the Hue College of Medicine and Pharmacy. In this ODA project, there are not only components mainly for HUMP but also for Thua Thien Hue, Quang Tri and Quang Nam provinces.

What brought you to Hue University of Medicine and Pharmacy?

This happened accidentally. In the 90s, I used to bring Italian students to developing countries around the world for their further practice. The first place was Africa. At a conference in Zimbabwe, I met a coordinator working on the cooperation between Vietnam and the Netherlands. This person advised me going to Vietnam.

Immediately after my first visit to Vietnam, I decided to stay to work because of my love for the country and for the Vietnamese people, especially Hue University of Medicine and Pharmacy. I take Hue and HUMP as my second home. Every year I come back here a couple of times and the longest time I have ever stayed here was as long as  3 months.

Why did you choose Hue instead of any other city in Vietnam?

Hue is the ancient capital of Vietnam. In 1968, during the Vietnam War, the Americans attempted to destroy Hue Citadel and I was one of the students in Italy that protested against the destruction of the buildings of historical value in Vietnam. That is another reason that made me decide to choose Hue.

What do you do in your spare time? What are the similarities between your home town in Italy and Hue?

I often travel on motobike around the city to explore different places of Hue. I love the quiet atmostsphere in the Citadel and the Perfume River. The  countrysides and the pagodas in Hue are very beautiful. In terms of landscape and people, the two cities are quite different; however, the Italian share many similarities with the Vietnamese.

Thank you, Professor!

                                                                                                                                                                          Author:Ngoc Ha


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