One Health multisector biorisk management stakeholder meeting

In 2020, the Defense Threat Reduction Agency Biological Threat Reduction Program (DTRA BTRP), General Department of Preventive Medicine, Viet Nam Ministry of Health (MoH GDPM), Department of Animal Health, Viet Nam Ministry of Agriculture Rural Development (MARD DAH), and Vietnam One Health University Network (VOHUN) developed a Multi-sectoral (public health, animal health, academia) One Health Approach Engagement Strategy for implementation, coordination, transition, and long term sustainability in Viet Nam.

On April 27, 2021, VOHUN in collaboration with the Institute of Environment Health and Sustainable Development hold the: “One Health multisector biorisk management stakeholder meeting” in Hanoi. The meeting was Co-chaired by Dr. Phạm Văn Đông, General Director of DAH – MARD; CAPT Jackson Taylor, Chief of Medical Military Unit – US Embassy, Dr. Matt Moore, Acting Director, US CDC in Viet Nam, Prof. Le Thi Huong, VOHUN Chairperson. More than 30 representatives from partners institutions in human health, animal health, military medical and academia in Viet Nam as well as partner institutions from US including: USAID, USDA/APHIS, US. CDC. The meeting aims at sharing BRM Project outcomes in 2020 context of the COVID-19 pandemic, to discuss the 2021 work plan with the roles of related partners and directions to strengthen interdisciplinary cooperation on safety and biosecurity in the Global Health Security Program. Moreover, the participants discussed on plan to build an interdisciplinary One Health laboratory network in Vietnam.

After the opening session, representatives from VOHUN and DTRA shared the project results in 2020 and the project implementation plan in 2021. With 09 planned activities in 2021, the project has received contribution and suggestions from delegates to maximize available resources, seek opportunities to coordinate with partner agencies to contribute to strengthening bio-risk management capacity in Vietnam Nam.

Via two presentations by representatives of the health and animal health sectors, the workshop built an overview picture of the current state of the laboratory systems in Vietnam. Then, discuss the most important content of the meeting to discuss the mechanisms for building an One Health interdisciplinary biorisk management networks.

The initiative to establish an interdisciplinary One Health network on biological risk management in Vietnam aims to develop an interdisciplinary mechanism for Health, Veterinary, Military Medicine and Universities in management. biological risks, increasing information sharing, coordinating monitoring across sectors, thereby enhancing interdisciplinary capacity to respond to risks of zoonotic diseases, as well as minimizing risks. chances of public health events in Viet Nam.

The objectives of establishing a BRM One Health network establishment includes: (1) Establish multi-sectoral linkages and cooperation mechanisms for Human health, Animal health, military medical and universities to further strengthen biological risk management, quality management,  outbreak investigation capacity, and laboratory cooperation; (2) Expand cooperation opportunities and financial / technical support for One Health BRM activities in Vietnam in the future (3) Strengthen networking, update and connect with new domestic, regional and international initiatives.

Speaking at the meeting, Dr. Pham Van Dong, Director of the Department of Animal Health emphasized: “Establishing a One Health network for bio-risk management in Vietnam is essential and this will help make inter-agency cooperation more effective”.

With the support from the United States Government through development projects, the emphasis has been placed on biorisks management in Vietnam. Speaking at the meeting, CAPT Jack Taylor, Chief of the Military Medical Section, US Embassy emphasized: “The establishment of  the One Health Multi-sectoral Lab Network is a great initiative to further strengthen the cross-sector collaboration and International Standards needed to reduce deliberate or accidental biological risks by developing and maintaining laboratory best practices in your  facilities allowing safe and secure use and disposal of dangerous pathogens”.

In line with the commitment of relevant sectors and partners, the Biorisk Management Training project in Vietnam will carry out more practical activities in 2021 to mobilize active participation of its stakeholders, while utilizing international and domestic resources to ensure biosecurity and biosafety in Vietnam, especially in the context of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic over the world.

Some pictures of the meeting

Dr. Phạm Văn Đông, General Director – DAH, MARD delivers his opening remarks
CAPT Jackson B Taylor, Head of MM Unit – US Embassy delivers his opening remarks.
Prof. Dr. Lê Thị Hương, VOHUN chairperson delivers her opening remarks.
Maj. Chamberlain,  Director of DTRA in Vietnam delivers his opening remarks.

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