More than 10 key One Health partners and stakeholders in Vietnam have agreed to strengthen their collaboration in One Health work with the aim of fast-tracking the translation of One Health research evidence into interventions and policy changes in the country.
In November 2018, the Hanoi University of Public Health (HUPH), the Vietnam One Health University Network (VOHUN), the Thai Nguyen Sub-Department of Animal Health, Production and Fishery (Sub-DAH), the Thai Nguyen Center for Diseases Control (CDC), the Thai Nguyen University of Medicine and Pharmacy (TUMP), the Thai Nguyen University of Agriculture and Forestry (TUAF) and the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) signed an agreement to form a new One Health research partnership. Under the partnership, these organizations have been collaborating in One Health research at a provincial-level One Health research site in Thai Nguyen Province, in the Tonkin Delta.
On 2 July 2020, human and animal health experts from the partnership met to review the progress and achievements of the One Health research work at the field site. They discussed ways of enhancing research at the site, which includes testing probiotics use in pig production and piloting of One Health models.
At the meeting, Le Dac Vinh, director, Sub-DAH and Hoang Anh, deputy director, CDC Thai Nguyen, shared their respective One Health projects in the province including those working in rabies control, reduction of antimicrobials use and antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in poultry production, strengthening AMR surveillance, improving food safety at slaughterhouses and managing communicable diseases at commune levels, among other initiatives. They expressed their desire to use the One Health field site.
Nguyen Thi To Uyen from TUMP said increasing One Health research in the country would generate more evidences for policymaking processes. Currently, One Health is integrated into the training curricula of TUMP and TUAF. She emphasized that when designing their training curriculum, universities need to pay attention to meeting the needs of employers like the CDC. She added that closer collaboration between partners would help bridge the gaps between educators and employers in the animal and human health sectors. At the meeting, partners also agreed that zoonotic diseases, food safety and AMR are among the priority challenges they will work on.
So far, the One Health partnership has carried out several important studies. These include a study (from 2016 to 2019) in Phu Binh District that assessed how decisions around veterinary antimicrobial use and stewardship are made by family farmers and their animal health networks. Another study, which explored the challenges of investigating antimicrobial resistance in Vietnam, was conducted in Hanoi and Thai Nguyen Province to understand the willingness and abilities of the human and animal health sectors actors to carry out investigations of AMR using a One Health approach. More recently, a 2019-2020 nutrition study, led by ILRI and TUAF, compared diet diversity data from households over a 12-month period.
In terms of capacity development, starting July 2020, ILRI is currently hosting a lecturer at TUAF who is conducting One Health research under a Southeast Asia One Health University Network (SEAOHUN) fellowship.
At the review meeting, participants also discussed how ILRI and VOHUN can assist the Thai Nguyen One Health partners in developing communication products to better disseminate their project outputs and outcomes and to promote One Health in the province. One potential collaboration that was discussed with the Thai Nguyen partners was testing probiotic use in pig production to reduce the use of antibiotics in pig fattening under the ‘Market-based approach to improving the safety of pork in Vietnam’, or SafePORK project which is funded by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR).