HANOI, June 10, 2022 – Senior leaders from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) were in Vietnam this week to meet with CDC Southeast Asia Regional Office and CDC Vietnam leadership, U.S. Embassy officials, U.S. CDC Country Directors from around Southeast Asia, and partners from the Government of Vietnam to discuss the CDC’s regional strategy for Southeast Asia.
The U.S. CDC Southeast Asia Regional Office was formally launched on August 25, 2021, by Vice President Kamala Harris and Vietnam Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra, Vietnam’s Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long, U.S. CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, and health ministers from throughout the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) region. During the launch, Vice President Harris reinforced the U.S. commitment to regional health security cooperation and renewed previous calls to action on pandemic preparedness and response.
The Southeast Asia Regional Office strengthens the U.S. CDC’s ability to meet its mission of protecting people in America and throughout Southeast Asia by responding more rapidly to health threats wherever they occur and building key relationships to tackle shared health priorities. The U.S. CDC has a long-standing presence in Southeast Asia including a CDC Vietnam Country Office, which has worked with the Government of Vietnam for almost 25 years to address shared health priorities.
Senior leaders from the U.S. CDC, including Dr. Debra Houry, Acting Principal Deputy Director, and Dr. Mitchell Wolfe, Chief Medical Officer, among others, visited Hanoi this week to highlight meaningful activities that maintain and strengthen CDC relationships with partner countries in region and Vietnam and to explore opportunities to strengthen multi-country activities. Leaders also discussed opportunities to build on the existing successes of longstanding relationships in health, including those with regional partners, such as ASEAN. The delegation also traveled to Bangkok, Thailand.
“We know that our health is integrally related to that of the health of others around the world. We want to ensure CDC has the best strategy for a long-term overseas presence that builds on existing successes of our relationships, so that together, we can respond rapidly to the next emerging infectious disease threat, before it becomes a pandemic. Our longstanding partnership with the Government of Vietnam is an excellent model for how the U.S. CDC can work with countries throughout Southeast Asia to address shared health threats,” said Dr. Houry.
During a meeting with the Vietnam Ministry of Health, Dr. Houry emphasized CDC’s cooperation with the Government of Vietnam as it establishes a national public health institute similar to CDC. She also congratulated Vietnam on being selected to serve as one of the locations of the new ASEAN Center for Public Health Emergencies and Emerging Diseases.