Vietnam, U.S. cooperate to fight biological threats

By Toan Dao   June 22, 2016 | 05:10 pm PT
Vietnam’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and U.S. Embassy in Hanoi have inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to enhance cooperation in mitigating emerging diseases. 

Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Cao Duc Phat and U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam Ted Osius signed the deal in Hanoi on June 22, a Vietnamese government statement showed Wednesday.

The MoU, which is aimed at creating a long-term framework for bilateral cooperation in fighting diseases, will enable the U.S. to help Vietnam train health professionals and develop basic infrastructure. They will also cooperate to identify and prevent potential emerging diseases not only in Vietnam but also in the world.

The signing ceremony of the memorandum of understanding on June 22. Photo by VGP/Do Huong

The signing ceremony of the memorandum of understanding on June 22. Photo by VGP/Do Huong

Osius said Vietnam has worked as a front-runner in the region in the Global Health Security Agenda, and has played a leading role in the action program on animal-to-human infectious diseases. 

The Global Health Security Agenda was launched in February 2014 to advance a world safe and secure from infectious disease threats, to bring together nations from all over the world to make new, concrete commitments, and to elevate global health security as a national leaders-level priority.

Over the past decade, the U.S. has assisted Vietnam in several projects involving the management and prevention of epidemics and emerging infectious diseases via the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Minister Phat said.

The U.S. Defense Department’s program on biological threat reduction has also partnered with Vietnam’s Department of Animal Health and the National Centre for Veterinary Diagnosis to improve the capacity of laboratories and professional staff in the country since 2014, according to Phat.

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