CDC in Vietnam

Vietnam RRT banner image

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) began working with the government of Vietnam and local organizations in 1998 to build effective and sustainable public health systems. CDC provides technical expertise for evidence-based decisions to strengthen the capacity and infrastructure of Vietnam’s national health systems. CDC works closely with Vietnam to address HIV, tuberculosis, and influenza, as well as strengthening laboratory, surveillance, and workforce capacity to respond to disease outbreaks.

Vietnam Map

What CDC is Doing in Vietnam

In today’s globally connected world, disease threats can spread faster and more unpredictably than ever before. CDC’s global health security efforts in Vietnam help improve the country’s ability to prevent, detect, and respond to infectious disease outbreaks before they become epidemics that could affect global populations. These efforts help Vietnam reach the targets outlined in the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA), a global partnership launched in 2014 to help make the world safer and more secure from infectious diseases.

Working closely with the government of Vietnam and other partners, CDC provides expertise and support across the 11 technical areas known as GHSA action packages, which help Vietnam build core public health capacities in disease surveillance, laboratory systems, workforce development, emergency management, and other critical areas. CDC focuses on providing support for early reporting of disease outbreaks, better infection and prevention control, increasing biosafety and biosecurity, and reducing illnesses and deaths due to antimicrobial resistance. Rates of antimicrobial resistance in Vietnam are among the highest in Asia. CDC supports Vietnam in tracking multidrug resistant infections in hospitals as part of the country’s National Action Plan—a critical step in monitoring the spread of antibiotic resistant bacteria.

HIV is a leading cause of death and a health threat to millions worldwide. As a key implementer of the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), CDC works with Vietnam to build a sustainable, high-impact national HIV response to accelerate progress towards the UNAIDS global targets to control the HIV epidemic. CDC provides technical assistance focused on innovation in program models, strengthened HIV laboratory and diagnostic capacity, and enhanced HIV surveillance, epidemiology, and program monitoring. Recent CDC-supported innovations include same-day antiretroviral (ARV) therapy initiation, multi-month scripting and dispensing of ARVs, and the introduction of recency testing to understand the dynamics of new HIV infections in Vietnam.

With tuberculosis (TB) as the leading cause of death among people living with HIV, CDC provides technical support to Vietnam’s National TB Program. Areas of focus include improving efforts to find, cure, and prevent TB, HIV-associated TB, and multidrug resistant TB by strengthening the country’s capacity to operationalize new and existing TB control tools, building the evidence-base for improved TB control and prevention, and using the evidence to guide data-driven decision-making.

To maximize public health impact, CDC targets populations and provinces most at risk for HIV, improves access to HIV testing, and strengthens links to immediate treatment and ongoing care. CDC collaborates with provincial and national HIV programs to assure that provincial health bodies have the capacity to provide high-quality HIV clinical and technical assistance to HIV service delivery sites.

CDC supports strengthening laboratory quality management systems to accurately diagnose, monitor, and prevent HIV, TB, influenza, and other infectious diseases. These activities help Vietnam to develop national strategic plans, a public health reference laboratory network, and a biosafety and biosecurity system. CDC also supports scale up for HIV confirmatory services, routine viral load monitoring, and innovations such as recency testing and molecular diagnostics for TB. Implementation of an electronic laboratory information system at 32 HIV testing labs led to faster results and improved data quality.

CDC facilitates collaboration between human and animal health laboratories, ensuring that both can detect novel influenza viruses with pandemic potential. Annually, approximately 5,000 specimens from hospitalized patients in Vietnam are tested for influenza viruses and for seven other viral respiratory pathogens. Influenza A positive samples from humans and poultry are sent to the World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Center at CDC for further characterization and as candidate vaccine viruses.

Infectious diseases can emerge without warning and quickly spread in our globally connected world. CDC works with Vietnam to strengthen community-level early warning and emergency systems. National-level public health emergency management has also improved through a network of five emergency operations centers. CDC and its partners conduct surveillance at sites along Vietnam’s borders, including 60 live bird markets in 10 provinces and an animal quarantine site at the border with China. Support for workforce capacity building is provided through hands-on technical assistance, laboratory and surveillance training, and the Field Epidemiology Training Program (FETP). Twenty-three FETP fellows have been trained.

Vietnam is at high risk for emerging influenza viruses with pandemic potential. CDC has provided financial and technical assistance to improve Vietnam’s preparedness since 2005. Notable achievements include the establishment of two National Influenza Centers, laboratory-supported active indicator surveillance for influenza like illness and severe acute respiratory infection at sentinel sites, laboratory-supported event-based surveillance for severe viral pneumonia, and laboratory-supported active indicator surveillance among poultry at live bird markets. In January 2019, Vietnam licensed their first human seasonal influenza vaccine. CDC, with the Partnership for Influenza Vaccine Introduction, is collaborating with Vietnam on a multi-year plan to vaccinate health workers.

CDC Impact in Vietnam

Event-based surveillance is now a routine surveillance strategy in Vietnam, with national guidelines officially issued in March 2018.

In January 2019, Vietnam licensed their first domestically-produced human seasonal influenza vaccine.

Vietnam adopted a national strategy to introduce influenza vaccine, first targeting health workers.

By the end of 2018, 38 out of 54 sites (70%) have implemented same-day antiretroviral therapy (SDA), and 619 out of 3,312 patients (19%) initiated SDA.

CDC supported 24 key medical labs to obtain international accreditation for HIV, TB, influenza, dengue, and other clinical testing.

HIV testing conducted for 83% of persons with TB, linking 91% of patients living with HIV to ART and TB preventive treatment.

CDC Staff in Vietnam
  • 10 U.S. Assignees
  • 54 Locally Employed
Vietnam at a Glance
  • Population: 95,540,800 (2017)
  • Per capita income: $6,450
  • Life expectancy at birth: F 76/M 71 years
  • Infant mortality rate: 15/1,000 live births

Sources: World Bank 2018, Vietnam
Population Reference Bureau 2018, Vietnam

Vietnam Top 10 Causes of Death
  1. Stroke
  2. lschemic heart disease
  3. Lung cancer
  4. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  5. Alzheimer’s disease
  6. Diabetes
  7. Cirrhosis
  8. Road injuries
  9. Lower respiratory infections
  10. Tuberculosis

Source: GBD Compare 2018, Vietnam

CDC’s mission is to promote measurable, substantive public health advances in Vietnam and throughout the region.

Where We Work

CDC-Vietnam addresses the region’s toughest health problems at their source.

Web Vietnam

CDC applies cutting edge solutions and technologies to reduce disease and protect health in challenging, underdeveloped places.

Download Printable Overview Factsheet
Page last reviewed: May 28, 2019
Content source: Global Health