Deputy Secretary of Health and Human Services Mary Wakefield Visits Hanoi

Deputy Secretary of Health and Human Services Mary Wakefield notes the importance of U.S.-Vietnam health cooperation at the NIHE EOC inauguration.

HANOI, October 21, 2016 – Acting Deputy Secretary of Health and Human Services Mary Wakefield visited Hanoi from October 20 – 21 to discuss U.S. – Vietnamese health cooperation and launch the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology (NIHE)’s Emergency Operations Centre (EOC). During the trip, Deputy Secretary Wakefield also visited several project sites to see U.S.-Vietnam health collaboration in action.

On October 20, Deputy Secretary Wakefield, U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam Ted Osius, Deputy Minister of Health Nguyễn Thanh Long, and Director of NIHE Đặng Đức Anh inaugurated the NIHE EOC. The EOC is a joint project of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and NIHE to enhance detection and response capacities corresponding to global health threats. The NIHE EOC will coordinate public health emergency response operations for the 28 Northern provinces of Vietnam.

While reiterating U.S. commitment to health collaboration, Deputy Secretary Wakefield also visited Hanoi Medical University (HMU) to speak with nursing students about the important role of health care practitioners in society. Wakefield also met with administrators and staff of HMU’s Faculty of Medical Technology to discuss ongoing collaboration in revising and updating undergraduate training curriculum and improving teaching methodologies for lecturers.

On October 21, Deputy Secretary Wakefield visited Ha Vy Poultry Market, where CDC’s 5-year Cooperative Agreement with the Department of Animal Health supports active surveillance for influenza in poultry in Vietnam. This cooperation strengthens capacity in detection, preparedness and response to outbreaks from novel influenza viruses.

Highlighting the United States global effort to combat HIV/AIDS, Deputy Secretary Wakefield also visited the National Hospital of Tropical Diseases (NHTD) which specializes in the examination, treatment, prevention and control of, and training, supervision and scientific research on infectious and emerging diseases. CDC-NHTD collaboration began in 2003 with the establishment of the first HIV outpatient clinic in Vietnam to provide HIV care and treatment services for adult outpatients, and since 2005 the provision of anti-retroviral treatment funded by the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). PEPFAR and CDC also provide technical assistance to NHTD in implementing an e-mentoring program for HIV care and treatment clinicians nationwide.

To complete her visit, Deputy Secretary Wakefield visited the Long Bien Methadone Maintenance Treatment Clinic which was established in 2010 as one of the first methadone clinics in Hanoi as a result of PEPFAR assistance.  Methadone medication and technical assistance have been provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services through PEPFAR, CDC, and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The Long Bien Methadone Clinic is part of the Long Bien District Health Center, a component of the Vietnam preventive medicine system responsible for primary health care needs.