Vietnam - Asia 2023 Smart City Summit Hanoi celebrates 15 years of administrative boundary adjustment 12th Vietnam-France decentrialized cooperation conference 31st Sea Games - Vietnam 2021 Covid-19 Pandemic
Aug 19, 2023 / 23:24

Vietnam holds historic meeting to protect human, animal and environmental health

Paying attention to human, animal, and environmental health is a collaborative approach that aims to achieve optimal health outcomes by recognizing the interconnection between people, animals, plants, and their shared environment.

The National Bridging Workshop, held for the first time in Vietnam, brings together stakeholders in the fields of human, livestock, wildlife, and environmental health.

 Representatives of governmental agencies and international organizations at the workshop. Photo: WHO

Leaders from three Government agencies, the United Nations and the World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH) launched a three-day meeting to strengthen collaboration on human-animal-environment health at all levels.

The workshop is an opportunity for human, animal, and environmental services to review gaps in their current collaboration and cooperation and develops a joint roadmap of corrective measures and strategic investment. This would improve work at the animal-human-environment interface to prevent, detect and control zoonotic diseases.

The workshop creates a bridge between WHO’s International Health Regulations (IHR) and the Performance of Veterinary Services (PVS) pathways from WOAH, allowing different sectors in Vietnam to increase awareness and understanding of these international monitoring and evaluation tools, discuss their differences and connections, and develop a roadmap of priority areas of joint actions by establishing specific objectives and activities to strengthen collaboration.

Importance of One Health approach

The health of humans and animals is closely linked. Many diseases that jump from animals to humans (zoonoses) can be transmitted through direct contact, food, or the environment.

To protect health, food security, and economic development, Vietnam needs to enhance the interactions of agencies working on the health of people, animals, and the environment. This National Bridging Workshop aims to strengthen links between all these sectors.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) is hosting the event in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment (MONRE), Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), World Health Organization (WHO) and WOAH, with financial support from United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Australian Aid (AusAID).

Since 2003, Vietnam has experienced serious human and economic impacts from zoonoses including SARS and avian influenza, as well as agricultural losses from livestock diseases, such as African Swine Fever, estimated at over one billion US dollars.

The Government of Vietnam uses a “One Health” approach, bringing together a wide range of agencies from multiple sectors, to manage these threats. The General Department of Preventive Medicine at MOH, in collaboration with the Department of Animal Health at MARD, requested WHO, FAO, UNEP, and WOAH to support Vietnam to conduct a National Bridging Workshop.

 Vietnam is paying more attention to One Health approach.