Throughout the month of October, the governments of the United States and Vietnam celebrated the 20th anniversary of U.S.-Vietnam health cooperation and normalized bilateral relations. U.S. Ambassador Ted Osius, Minister of Health Nguyen Thi Kim Tien, and Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Ha Kim Ngoc attended a celebration ceremony on October 28th event and highlighted achievements in the health field between the two nations over the past 20 years.
“For twenty years, since we normalized relations, our health collaboration has saved countless lives in Vietnam and beyond. We have achieved so much together in only 20 years. Imagine what we can do together over the next 20. I am confident our health cooperation will deepen and broaden into new and exciting areas. Anything is possible when it comes to what our two countries can do together,” said Ambassador Ted Osius in his opening remarks.
During the celebration, Ambassador Osius and Minister of Health Tien awarded “for People’s Health” medals to seven American diplomats and U.S. Embassy Certificates of Appreciation to 40 Vietnamese individuals for their dedicated contributions to advance the bilateral health cooperation.
U.S. government health programs in Vietnam have totaled over $900 million dollars since the 1995 normalization of relations, accounting for approximately 75% of U.S. Government overall assistance to Vietnam.
Since its 2005 implementation, the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) program has been the largest contributor of Vietnam’s HIV response. This year also marks a key PEPFAR milestone with over 100,000 people in Vietnam on ARV treatment and over 40,000 people on methadone maintenance treatment. The U.S. government is also the largest bilateral supporter of influenza prevention and control in Vietnam and supports other areas, including tuberculosis, malaria, tobacco control, road safety, food safety, disabilities, disaster preparedness, coastal medicine, and infectious disease prevention and control.
Looking forward to the future, the U.S. and Vietnam have established a growing partnership under the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) since last year, to better prevent, detect, and respond to disease outbreaks. Addressing issues of global health importance together not only benefits both countries, but also the region and world at large.