Mechanism boosts links in infectious disease prevention

An agreement on “One Health Partnership” (OHP) framework mechanism aimed at preventing zoonotic diseases that can be transmitted from animals to humans was signed among 27 Vietnamese and international organisations at a ceremony in Hanoi on March 1.

Lying in the tropical area in Asia, Vietnam is one of the five hot spots of emerging infectious diseases such as Ebola, MERS-CoV, SARS and bird flu, which mainly originate from wild animals.

Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long said a series of new diseases sourcing from animals have appeared in the early 21st century, especially avian and human influenza.

To confront with the situation, in 2006, the Prime Minister agreed to set up a Partnership for Avian and Human Influenza (PAHI) mechanism, which helps promote closer cooperation between the Health Ministry and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and relevant ministries and sectors in the work.

This has contributed to successfully containing dangerous and new diseases, and effectively controlling influenza strain A/H5N1, he said, adding that Vietnam recorded no case of human influenza in 2015.

OHP is a new initiative of the Vietnamese Government in the strategy of preventing risks of animal-to-human infectious diseases. It is expected to offer a venue for partners in and outside the country to share experience and achievements in the field, thus giving policy recommendations to boost international links as well as effectively mobilise and use aid sources.

New partners will support Vietnam and Indonesia – the two first countries implementing the World Health Organisation's Zoonotic Disease Action Package (ZDAP), which is one of the 11 fields of the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA). 

This will contribute to efforts of 40 GHSA member countries to protect people worldwide from suffering infectious diseases.

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