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Embassy Highlights

CDC Director Visits Vietnam to Promote Global Health Security

November 14, 2012
The director of CDC, Dr. Frieden, speaks at Hanoi Medical University’s 110th year anniversary.

The director of CDC, Dr. Frieden, speaks at Hanoi Medical University’s 110th year anniversary.

On November 14, Dr. Thomas Frieden, the director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), addressed an audience of top Vietnamese leaders, health officials and students at the Hanoi Medical University in honor of the university’s 110th anniversary.  Dr. Frieden, spoke about some of the most pressing health challenges facing Vietnam today, such as infectious and chronic disease, smoking and health, hypertension, and injury prevention.

Dr. Frieden noted that the U.S. Government has built strong ties with Vietnam “going back many years – and it’s based on partnership and mutual respect.”

“We do much work together in many critical health areas, including HIV,” Dr. Frieden said. “And we’re encouraged that Vietnam is now treating more and more patients who are infected with HIV and doing more to prevent HIV in populations at the highest risk.”

Accompanied by Assistant Secretary of Defense Andrew Weber, Dr. Frieden visited Vietnam on a three day tour of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City to meet with Vietnamese health officials to discuss public health priorities and view public health activities throughout the country.  

“Dr. Frieden’s visit to Vietnam is a landmark event,” said acting Director of CDC Vietnam, David Nelson. “During his time here he will be able to get an insight into Vietnam’s healthcare system and the US-Vietnam collaboration on HIV/AIDS care and treatment, influenza and other infectious diseases.”

“Dr. Frieden and Mr. Weber will also investigate ways to boost ties between the U.S. and Vietnam in the important areas of disease detection and response to diseases of public health importance,” he added. “And this is key to keeping the Vietnamese people healthy and safe from disease, as well as strengthening global health security.”

Through the President’s Emergency Program for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and CDC, the United States has been the leading bilateral donor for lab quality improvement activities in Vietnam, committing more than $7.5 million over the past three years. The United States has also committed more than US$10 million over the past two years to train and support Vietnam’s health professionals to combat HIV and strengthen health systems.  

This is a small part of the strong healthcare partnership between Vietnam and the United States.  Since 2004, PEPFAR has provided over $500 million to support HIV/AIDS programs in Vietnam.  The United States is also the largest bilateral influenza donor in Vietnam, contributing approximately $65 million since 2005, including $17 million in 2010 alone.