Vietnam steps up health co-operation with the UK
British Ambassador Gareth Ward and Vietnamese Acting Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long signed a Memorandum of Understanding yesterday to outline future co-operation through the Better Health Programme, part of the UK’s Prosperity Fund.
|British Ambassador Gareth Ward and Vietnamese Acting Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long at the signing ceremony|
The programme aims to mobilise technical collaboration across eight nations, including Vietnam, from world-leading UK and international experts, for the purpose of improving health. Moreover, the partnership also relates to inclusive economic growth outcomes by increasing equitable access to safe and high-quality care, while also tackling the burden of non-communicable disease.
Minister Long said he hopes the signing of the MoU will bring medical co-operation between the two countries to new heights, opening up opportunities for their health professionals to exchange and share expertise.
Meeting earlier Minister Long and Ambassador Ward discussed different aspects of bilateral cooperation in the health sector. This includes preventing antimicrobial resistance through the Fleming Fund, cooperating in scientific research, especially relating to infectious diseases, an important component of the Newton Fund, along with creating favourable conditions for pharmaceutical companies to operate more efficiently.
The UK diplomat also thanked the Vietnamese side for their support and coordination in responding to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Ambassador Ward said the UK remains very grateful to Vietnamese doctors for their all-out efforts to cure British citizens infected with COVID-19, especially the critically ill Stephen Cameron, dubbed patient 91 in Vietnam.
He stressed that coordination among countries to cope with the global health threat is therefore essential. For example, he said the Ministry of Health and the Oxford University Clinical Research Unit in Vietnam has cooperated with partners to launch a clinical trial on chloroquine, an antimalarial drug, as treatment for the COVID-19. This comes after scientists of VABIOTECH co-operated with the UK’s Bristol University to develop a COVID-19 vaccine.
The UK Ambassador added that health cooperation also plays an important role in terms of the strategic partnership between the two countries. VOV