Like many countries in Southeast Asia, Vietnam is at risk of emerging infectious diseases, like highly pathogenic avian influenza. Antimicrobial drug resistance represents a growing problem, along with preventing and controlling outbreaks of dengue fever, malaria and other vector-borne diseases.
Planned support from The Centre focuses on systems strengthening activities based on the Centre for Health Security’s 2018 Scoping Mission recommendations, while building specific capacities to prevent, detect and control disease outbreaks. We are currently supporting the University of Sydney’s V-RESIST study combating the emergence and spread of antimicrobial resistant infectious diseases in Vietnam and capacity building in drug and medical test regulation through Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration. Several volunteers have been placed in Vietnam through the Health Security Corps, including on placements to strengthen animal health and increase gender equality.
Future activities are likely to include laboratory strengthening and workforce development, for example the ASEAN-Australia Health Security Fellowships provide an opportunity for health professionals from Vietnam to build skills in field epidemiology through a two-year Masters program at Australian National University.
In March 2019, DFAT opened a call for proposals under the Health Security Initiative for country-specific and multi-country activities to strengthen infectious disease detection, prevention and response in the Indo-Pacific region. Two streams of funding have been established:
- The Pacific Infectious Disease Prevention (PIDP) program - $25 million over 2019-2022.
- The ASEAN-Pacific Infectious Disease Detection and Response (APIDDaR) program - $28 million over 2019-2022.
As at November 2019, the Centre for Health Security is undertaking a collaborative design process with a group of preferred partner organisations, who were selected on the basis of demonstrated organisational capacity and activity concepts.
The following programs supported under the Health Security Initiative include Vietnam as one of the target countries:
Country & Regional
In partnership with the Australian National University (ANU), the Fellowships program aims to build high-level skills and expertise in epidemiology. Fellows are supporting the work of the Pasteur Institute in Cambodia, the National Center for Laboratory and Epidemiology in Laos and other regional institution.
A high-level initiative for collective action to eliminate malaria across Asia and the Pacific by 2030. The APLMA/APMEN Secretariat delivers its objectives through advocacy and outreach; fostering and strengthening partnerships and innovation; and providing policy guidance.
Supporting national medicines regulatory authorities to work together effectively improves the impact and safety of medical products through more efficient regulation. To this end, Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration is working with key Indo-Pacific counterpart authorities to improve regulatory systems and processes, including through sharing regulatory information.