Speech by Ambassador Osius at the Inauguration Ceremony of Emergency Operations Center

Ambassador Ted Osius Inauguration Ceremony of Emergency Operations Center.

Inauguration Ceremony of Emergency Operations Center (EOC) in National Institutes of Hygiene and Epidemiology

Professor Nguyen Thanh Long, Vice Minister of the Ministry of Health,
Dr. Mary Wakefield, Acting Deputy Director of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services,
Professor Dang Duc Anh, Director of the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology,
Distinguished guests,

Ladies and gentlemen,

Xin chào tất cả các Quý vị!

As we have witnessed from disease outbreaks around the world, like Zika and

Ambassador Osius giving remarks at the ceremony.
Ambassador Osius giving remarks at the ceremony.

Ebola, preventing spread of disease is a global concern.  Vietnam has experienced its own burden of outbreaks such as SARS and Avian influenza.

These occurrences have a tremendous negative impact on families through illness and death, impose a burden on health resources at clinics, hospitals, and public health institutions, and deplete economic resources.

Not only do these events impact Vietnam, but they are also a threat to global health security.

As our world has become interconnected with worldwide travel and trade, disease spread can advance from a local occurrence, affecting a small village, to a global pandemic in a single plane ride.

The Global Health Securities Agenda was launched in 2014 to build international capacity for detecting and rapidly responding to infectious disease outbreaks.

Vietnam was one of the first 30 countries to make a commitment to the GHSA.

A major accomplishment of this initiative is the creation this EOC at the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology.

There is one other National EOC, located at the General Department of Preventive Medicine, Ministry of Health.

This center here will serve as the central command and control facility for 28 Northern Provinces, while also sharing information with the National EOC to provide a complete picture of infectious disease monitoring in the country.

This facility is part of an ever growing system within Vietnam and an expanding EOC network, contributing to global health security.

The EOC will be a logistic command center where epidemiologic data will be collected and analyzed, resulting in action preventing further spread of infection.

You can see that it is equipped with modern technology, but this space only comes alive through the expertise of medical doctors, epidemiologists, laboratorians, and other trained public health professionals, creating a union of technology and knowledge and serving as a nerve center for detecting and responding to outbreaks and other public health events.

Though incidence of diseases are monitored on a continuous basis, outbreaks are not always preventable.

When one occurs, this center will operate 24-hours a day coordinating emergency services, deploying responders, identifying needed experts for each unique situation, and developing strategies to stop the spread of disease.

In addition, this facility will be used even before an outbreak happens.

Here, health data will be regularly monitored in an effort to prevent a catastrophic event.

This great resource is the result of a collaboration of efforts among US government and non-government agencies including the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and PATH, as well as Vietnamese partners, such as the Ministry of Health, GDPM and NIHE.

This center and all of the experts within it will protect the health of the people of the northern region, and the nation.

It will reinforce collaboration with global partners allowing Vietnam to be part of an international network of preparedness.

By our work together, we can prevent outbreaks of serious diseases and ensure fast and effective responses to health treats.

We are proud to be able to work with you to make Vietnam and our world a safer place.

Cám ơn quý vị đã lắng nghe. Chúc quý vị sức khỏe và thành công.