UK Supports Vietnam in Tackling Growing Health Burdens Post-Covid

In the context of the global Covid-19 pandemic, countries need to strengthen cooperation and support each other in disease prevention and control, promoting the production and timely supply of vaccines.
October 19, 2022 | 21:48

The British Embassy in Vietnam and the Vietnam's Ministry of Health (MoH) on October 18 co-hosted the closing event of the Better Health Programme – a UK-led initative dating back to 2020 to support the strengthening of the health system in Vietnam.

UK Supports Vietnam in Tackling Growing Health Burdens Post-Covid
Deputy Minister of Health Tran Van Thuan and UK Ambassador to Vietnam Lain Frew hand over technical documents of the Health Promotion program to beneficiaries. Source: MoH

The event saw the attendance of policymakers, MoH’s technical experts, and representatives from research institutes, hospitals, and international organisations. The participants together discussed the programme’s outputs, outcomes, challenges and lessons learnt to enable the transfer of knowledge for its sustainability.

The event witnessed the handover of the Better Health Programme’s deliverables from British Ambassador to Vietnam, Iain Frew to MoH Vice Minister, Prof. Dr. Tran Van Thuan.

Speaking at the event, British Ambassador to Vietnam, Iain Frew stated: "Over the past three years of the Better Health Programme, we have made great strides in building capacity for Vietnamese healthcare workers, introducing new models and information systems, and supporting Vietnamese institutional development. I believe the Ministry of Health will continue sustaining all those outcomes after the handover. As we advance, the UK government will continue our commitment to strengthening global health security through supporting health systems and access to new health technologies."

The Covid-19 pandemic highlighted the importance of a health system resilience for both pandemic preparedness and addressing persistent health challenges, including non-communicable diseases. One of the key factors to address those underlying issues is toestablish effective and coherent information flows and surveillance systems. This will be an effective instrument to help prevent non-communicable diseases, mobilise resources and deliver better care.

UK Supports Vietnam in Tackling Growing Health Burdens Post-Covid
British Ambassador to Vietnam, Iain Frew to Vietnam hands over the Better Health Programme’s deliverables to Vice Minister of Health, Prof. Dr. Tran Van Thuan.

Through the Better Health Programme, the UK Government supports the Vietnam's Health Ministry to tackle the systematic issues to build Vietnamese health system resilience through improving workforce capacity, supporting institutional development and harnessing the potential of digital innovation to strengthen equitable access to safe and quality care.

The program has been implemented in cooperation with 5 relevant units of the ministry including: Department of Preventive Medicine, Department of Science, Technology and Training, Department of Information Technology, Department of Examination Management, and the Financial Planning Department.

The programme focuses on providing recommendations for non-communicable diseases strategies, specialty education management, and digital health roadmap in Vietnam with technical cooperation from world leading experts from the UK National Health Service (NHS) and international organisations.

Health cooperation is essential in the strategic partnership between Vietnam and the UK. The country has been a close partner with Vietnam in addressing global health challenges, including antibiotic resistance and non-communicable diseases.

The total number of bilateral Covid-19 vaccines supported for Vietnam was 2,144,800 doses, which was a very valuable and timely gift to the Government and people of Vietnam.

The Better Health Programme in Vietmam, launched in 2020, is a part of the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office’s (FCDO) Prosperity Programming with an aim to support health system strengthening in Vietnam in three key areas, including non-communicable diseasesstrategies, education & training, and digital health.

The programme ends in 2022 and all technical products and deliverables will be under the management of the departments under the MoH.

UK Supports Vietnam in Tackling Growing Health Burdens Post-Covid
Prof. Dr Tran Van Thuan, Vice Minister of Health, speaks at the event. Source: MoH

On behalf of the leadership of the MoH, Deputy Minister, Prof. Dr Tran Van Thuan, acknowledged and highly appreciated the achievements of the program. At the same time, he voiced his hope that the parties will have the opportunity to continue to work together to improve the monitoring, evaluation and updating of the program's documents and products when necessary to suit reality.

“Within a limited timeframe, the programme has remarkably supported the Vietnamese health sector in strengthen the capacity of tackling the burden of non-communicable diseases, improving innovation in health education and training, and health digital transformation. With strong cooperation and commitment, I hope all relevant stakeholders will work together to fulfil the remaining health gaps, as well as monitor, evaluate, and update its deliverables to reflect our current needs,” he stressed.

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