A Layer of Protection: CDC Partners With Vietnam to Strengthen Global Health Security

Posted on by Scott Dowell, MD, MPH, RADM, USPHS

 

Dr. Scott Dowell meets with Vietnam public health officials during their emergency operations center training and shares his vision for global health security.
Dr. Scott Dowell meets with Vietnam public health officials during their emergency operations center training and shares his vision for global health security.

 

Vietnam is taking remarkable strides to modernize the way it protects public health and responds to disease outbreaks. I saw the progress first-hand during a recent trip there to review our joint activities to strengthen Global Health Security.

Scott Dowell, MD, MPH, RADM, USPHS
Scott Dowell, MD, MPH, RADM, USPHS

Over the last seven months CDC has been working closely with the Vietnam Ministry of Health to increase global health security. Our efforts focus on improving Vietnam’s ability to detect disease outbreaks earlier, prevent diseases from spreading, and respond rapidly and effectively to national and international public health emergencies.

Though more work remains, what I saw during my trip confirms the close partnership between Vietnam and CDC. The progress we have made together is encouraging, and I am confident that we will be able to help Vietnam be better prepared and respond even better and faster when there is a disease outbreak.

CDC and other U.S. government agencies, including USAID and DTRA, have been working side by side with the Ministry of Health for several years to strengthen Vietnam’s national laboratory system by enhancing the network’s ability to identify the causes of disease outbreaks and report the results. We have helped upgrade biosafety procedures that will improve the overall ability to detect diseases earlier and more precisely and establish standards that ensure quality results. The process has been accelerated over the past seven months with a particular focus on the pathogens capable of causing a public health emergency that are of highest priority for Vietnam.

Vietnam Ministry of Health staff give Dr. Scott Dowell a tour of their emergency operations center.
Vietnam Ministry of Health staff give Dr. Scott Dowell a tour of their emergency operations center.

Through these collaborations with CDC, Vietnam now has the ability to test for H7N9 influenza and MERS coronavirus. In fact, more than 200 people have been tested in the last five months; validating Vietnam’s expanding expertise and, more importantly confirming that neither of these significant threats has yet affected the country.

We have also worked together to enhance Vietnam’s emergency operations center which will streamline response efforts and focus resources where they are needed most during an emergency.

CDC staff has also collaborated in enhancing information systems and processes so they can provide accurate, real-time disease information to frontline responders and the Vietnamese public.

CDC’s collaboration with the Vietnam Ministry of Health on global health security will lead to a healthier and better protected population in Vietnam.

CDC‘s global health security work in Vietnam is also important on a larger scale that benefits us much closer to home. It establishes another layer of protection for Americans since early and accurate detection of disease is the best way to keep outbreaks overseas from spreading to our shores and also around the world.

Even deeper cooperation lies ahead thanks to a formal agreement signed in June between the U.S. and Vietnam that calls for an enhanced focus on the research, surveillance, prevention and control of infectious diseases, non-communicable diseases and other public health issues. With a common goal to build a stronger health workforce, health financing system and health information system, Vietnam will be better equipped to prevent and contain potential infectious disease outbreaks and respond to other global health security concerns.

In today’s mobile world where disease and threats can travel great distances in little time, robust partnerships mean greater health security for all.

Posted on by Scott Dowell, MD, MPH, RADM, USPHSTags ,

Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

All comments posted become a part of the public domain, and users are responsible for their comments. This is a moderated site and your comments will be reviewed before they are posted. Read more about our comment policy »

Page last reviewed: November 4, 2013
Page last updated: November 4, 2013
Content source: