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U.S. Acting Deputy Secretary of Health and Human Services wraps up Hanoi visit

U.S. Acting Deputy Secretary of Health and Human Services Mary Wakefield concluded Friday a two-day visit to Hanoi, where U.S. - Vietnamese health cooperation discussion was on high agenda.

During the trip, Deputy Secretary Wakefield also visited several project sites to see U.S.-Vietnam health collaboration in action, the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi said in a press release the same day.

On the first day of the visit, Deputy Secretary Wakefield joined U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam Ted Osius, Vietnam’s Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long, and Director of the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology (NIHE) Dang Duc Anh to inaugurate the NIHE’s Emergency Operations Centre (EOC).

The EOC is a joint project of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and NIHE to enhance detection and response capacities corresponding to global health threats.

The NIHE EOC will coordinate public health emergency response operations for 28 northern Vietnamese provinces.

While reiterating U.S. commitment to health collaboration, Deputy Secretary Wakefield also visited Hanoi Medical University to speak with nursing students about the important role of health care practitioners in society.

Wakefield also met with administrators and staff of the school’s Faculty of Medical Technology to discuss ongoing collaboration in revising and updating undergraduate training curriculum and improving teaching methodologies for lecturers.

The next day, Deputy Secretary Wakefield visited Ha Vy Poultry Market, where CDC’s five-year Cooperative Agreement with the Department of Animal Health supports active surveillance for influenza in poultry in Vietnam.

This cooperation strengthens capacity in detection, preparedness and response to outbreaks from novel influenza viruses.

Highlighting the United States global effort to combat HIV/AIDS, Deputy Secretary Wakefield also visited the National Hospital of Tropical Diseases (NHTD) which specializes in the examination, treatment, prevention and control of, and training, supervision and scientific research on infectious and emerging diseases.

CDC - NHTD collaboration began in 2003 with the establishment of the first HIV outpatient clinic in Vietnam to provide HIV care and treatment services for adult outpatients, and since 2005 the provision of anti-retroviral treatment funded by the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).

PEPFAR and CDC also provide technical assistance to NHTD in implementing an e-mentoring program for HIV care and treatment clinicians nationwide.

To complete her visit, Deputy Secretary Wakefield visited the Long Bien Methadone Maintenance Treatment Clinic which was established in 2010 as one of the first methadone clinics in Hanoi as a result of PEPFAR assistance.

Methadone medication and technical assistance have been provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services through PEPFAR, CDC, and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

The Long Bien Methadone Clinic is part of the Long Bien District Health Center, a component of the Vietnam preventive medicine system responsible for primary health care needs.

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