The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (U.S. CDC) recently completed a global health security pilot project with Vietnam, which has resulted in improvements in disease detection and response that may serve as a model for increasing global health security in the rest of the world. Global health security – keeping the world safe and secure from infectious disease threats – is achieved by preventing, detecting and responding to outbreaks as early and effectively as possible.
During six months of intensive collaboration, U.S. CDC worked with Vietnam’s Ministry of Health to modernize diagnostic testing for high-risk pathogens, develop real-time information systems for faster outbreak response, and improve emergency operations procedures including safe packaging and transport of potentially infectious samples.
“We are all connected by the food we eat, the water we drink, and air we breathe,” said U.S. CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. “Stopping outbreaks where they start is the most effective and least costly way to prevent disease and save lives at home and abroad – and it’s the right thing to do. Progress in Vietnam in less than a year shows how effective strategic investments can be.”
For the Vietnam project, 30 Vietnamese officials received in-country training in their country, at CDC’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) in Atlanta, and at the World Health Organization (WHO) Western Pacific Regional Office. Laboratory staff was trained to detect influenza A/H7N9 virus, enterovirus 71, and seven respiratory pathogens (including the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus – MERS-Cov). Project enhancements were built on existing Vietnam Ministry of Health systems and structures that will support Vietnam’s plans to strengthen their own EOC. The Global Health Security demonstration project in Vietnam culminated with a series of inter-related drills that measured improvements of laboratory testing, trained Vietnam Ministry of Health staff, and confirmed interoperability of information and management systems contributing to meeting core WHO International Health Regulations.
For more information about the agency’s global health security work, visit U.S. CDC’s Global Health Security website.
Click here for U.S. CDC’s digital press kit, which includes factsheets, images, and quotes from experts on global health security.