To strengthen ongoing work in the control of zoonotic diseases, or diseases transmitted from animals to humans, in Vietnam, the second phase of the framework for One Health Partnership for Zoonoses (OHP), was officially launched in Hanoi on 23 March 2021. This initiative by the Vietnamese government will run from 2021 to 2025.
Supported by 31 Vietnamese and international agencies including the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), the Ministry of Health (MOH) and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE), the OHP aims to minimize the risk of spreading animal and environmentally transmitted pathogens to human and of antimicrobial resistance through enhanced multisectoral collaboration using the One Health approach.
One Health is a useful paradigm for framing complex public health issues and addressing new global and public health challenges such as COVID-19. In Vietnam, ILRI and other development partners have promoted the use of One Health to reduce the risk of zoonotic diseases in the smallholder pig production system.
The first phase of the partnership started in 2016 and focused on sharing research among OHP national and international partners, giving recommendations for One Health policy, strategy and research projects, and enhancing international cooperation to better coordinate and promote One Health efforts in Vietnam.
Fred Unger, ILRI regional representative for Southeast Asia, who signed the OHP framework on behalf of ILRI, acknowledged the efforts of the Vietnamese Government in the control of zoonotic diseases including the ongoing fight against COVID-19. ‘The launch of the second phase of OHP shows the government’s appreciation of One Health in managing zoonoses and paves the way for ILRI and other development partners to continue supporting the partnership by contributing knowledge and expertise to support the country and region’s One Health programs,’ he said.
The second phase of the OHP will carry on the successes and promote the achievements of the 2016-2020 phase of the partnership through multidisciplinary cooperation and coordination among ministries and agencies, especially MARD, MOH and MONRE. Technical assistance, policy and financial support will also be mobilized from international and national development partners to ensure partners can better and more consistently address epidemic disease challenges that affect humans and animals.
According to Vice Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Phung Duc Tien, the second phase of the partnership reflects Vietnam’s support and commitment to the One Health approach, especially in the context of COVID-19.
The Vice Minister highlighted the need for stronger cooperation within OHP in capacity development in One Health, control of diseases in humans whose pathogens are of animal origin including zoonotic influenza and rabies, control of environmental agents that have potential impacts on human health, and enhanced advocacy and mobilization of resources for prevention and control of zoonosis.
The launch of the second phase of the OHP was co-organized by MARD, MOH, MONRE and funded by Fleming Fund, UK. About 160 participants from 60 international and national agencies attended the event physically and virtually.
Read about the first phase of the OHP for zoonoses: https://asia.ilri.org/2016/03/21/one-health-partnership-framework/