|A signing ceremoney is held today to mark the co-operation between Viet Nam and international partners in combating health risks posed by diseases that are transmitted from animals to humans. — VNA/VNS Photo
HA NOI (VNS) — Viet Nam and international partners have pledged to co-ordinate in combating health risks posed by diseases that are transmitted from animals to humans.
The commitment was made yesterday at the inaugural meeting and signing ceremony of the One Health Partnership for Zoonoses (OHP).
OHP was built upon the achievements of the Viet Nam Partnership on Avian and Human Influenza that was originally established in 2006.
OHP was endorsed by twenty-seven Vietnamese and international agencies, including the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment, the United Nations, the US Embassy, the French Embassy, the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank.
Vu Van Tam, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, said at the workshop that the new partnership will organise an annual One Health Forum and offer opportunities for national and international partners to share results and lessons from their work.
It would provide recommendations on One Health policy, strategy and research projects in Viet Nam to enhance international co-operation for effective co-ordination and mobilisation of funds. The partnership would also facilitate and promote engagement of Viet Nam in regional and global One Health efforts, he said.
Nguyen Thanh Long, Deputy Health Minister, said the successful Partnership on Avian and Human Influenza (PAHI) has helped prevent the spread of emerging and dangerous animal-to-human diseases such as the H5N1 avian influenza.
The PAHI has expanded its existing co-operation to address disease risks like rabies, as well as MERS-corona virus and Ebola, he said.
Pratibha Mehta, United Nations Resident Coordinator, said the One Health Partnership was an example of how to bring together the strengths of various partners to focus on issues that has impacted millions of Vietnamese people.
"The signing of the partnership framework also demonstrates the commitment of the Government of Viet Nam and the partnership members to collaborate together to mitigate the risks and reduce the public health impacts caused by zoonotic diseases," she said.
At the workshop, US Ambassador to Viet Nam, Ted Osius, pledged that the US government would support inter-ministerial co-ordination and conduct technical work to increase Viet Nam's capacity to deal with serious emerging outbreak threats.
It is estimated that around 60 per cent of new human diseases are zoonotic, meaning they originated in animals. Of these, more than 70 per cent originate in wild animals, including Ebola, MERS-CoV, SARS and avian influenza. Viet Nam is one of the five countries identified as a "hotspot" for new emerging infectious diseases, including those with pandemic potential. — VNS