Vietnam, US reach deal on reference laboratory development

Thursday, 2017-08-24 09:56:23
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Minister of Health Nguyen Thi Kim Tien and US Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price sign the memorandum on August 23. (Credit: VGP)
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NDO – Vietnam and the US has reached a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the establishment of a national reference medical laboratory in Vietnam.

Vietnamese Minister of Health Nguyen Thi Kim Tien and US Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price signed the document in Ho Chi Minh City on August 23.

Accordingly, the two sides will establish a common framework for cooperation in the field of medical laboratory capacity development, with the aim of establishing a national reference laboratory for Vietnam’s public health system under the support of the US.

Based on the needs and resources of each party, cooperation include carrying out joint projects on medical tests, which concern the application of new technologies as well as relevant research, monitoring and assessment.

The two sides agreed to conduct seminars on specific topics in medical testing, exchange human resources for training and experience sharing purposes, share scientific information and practices, while organising consultation sessions, operation and models of a national reference medical laboratory for public health.

The two sides aim to foster cooperation by pursuing activities within the scope of the MoU, based on programmes offered by either party. A long-term plan is also included, in which specific cooperation could be identified in areas of mutual interest which is set to expand in line with resource capacity and future opportunities.

The MoU is valid for five years and could be renewed based on bilateral agreement.

Minister of Health Nguyen Thi Kim Tien and US Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price inaugurate the emergency operations centre at the Pasteur Institute in Ho Chi Minh City on August 23.

Earlier on Wednesday morning, Minister Tien and her US guest attended the inauguration of a public health emergency operations centre (EOC) for the southern region located at the Pasteur Institute in Ho Chi Minh City.

The EOC targets to monitor, evaluate and provide effective solutions in order to handle disease outbreaks and the possibility of transnational transmissions, as well as outbreaks that can be handled in just a few hours.

The EOC is under a programme developed by the US government, international organisations and relevant nations for joint efforts to control and fight global epidemics.

This is the third EOCs established in Vietnam, after the first centre at the Ministry of Health’s headquarters in Hanoi established in May 2013, followed by another EOC for the North at the Hanoi-based National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology.

The US Secretary’s trip is part of the third APEC 2017 Senior Officials' Meeting (SOM3) in Ho Chi Minh City from August 15-30. At the meeting for APEC’s health officials, Vietnam launched six new proposals for health cooperation in 2018 among the APEC members.