Vietnam Country Program

Emerging and epidemic diseases

PATH is constantly searching for innovative solutions to infectious and noncommunicable diseases; in this photo, a young man from Ho Chi Minh City self-tests for HIV using a simple rapid diagnostic test. PATH

PATH is constantly searching for innovative solutions to infectious and noncommunicable diseases; in this photo, a young man from Ho Chi Minh City self-tests for HIV using a simple rapid diagnostic test. PATH

Some of the world’s greatest health threats can be found in Vietnam. From influenza to HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis (TB), these diseases disproportionately impact less developed countries and vulnerable populations.

PATH is working with local partners to lessen the burden of disease by improving care and treatment and building capacity in case of future outbreaks.

Attacking a global killer

TB is a leading cause of disease worldwide and is the leading cause of death among people infected with HIV. Vietnam has the 14th highest TB burden in the world, making TB control a top priority for the country.

PATH has a long history of working with the National TB Program to address this heavy burden. We have supported nationwide expansion of a public-private mix model, which focused on referring people with TB-like symptoms from private and public non-TB facilities to public TB facilities; coordinated advocacy, communications, and social mobilization activities; piloted models of patient support; and conducted research studies and monitoring and evaluation activities to provide the government with strategic information for better TB control.

Most recently, we have launched “Breath for Life,” a new project in partnership with the National TB Program and Johnson & Johnson, to reduce childhood TB illness and death in Vietnam. Breath for Life will strengthen the detection, treatment, and management of TB in children in Nghe An, a province highly burdened by TB.

Developing sustainable solutions to end the HIV epidemic

As part of the Healthy Markets project, funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), we are working with the private sector and government of Vietnam to grow a viable market for high-quality HIV-related goods and services (such as condoms, lubricant, needles and syringes, and HIV testing) capable of sustainably meeting the needs of populations facing the greatest risks. We utilize a total market approach (TMA) to segment populations based on need and ability to pay and to balance access and sustainability. This enables the Vietnam government and partners to prioritize finite resources for populations that need free or subsidized commodities and services, while a commercial market grows to provide options for those who are able and willing to pay.

Enhancing hypertension awareness and management

One-quarter of adults in Vietnam have hypertension, but less than half of them are aware of it. Under the Communities for Healthy Hearts project, PATH is collaborating with the Novartis Foundation to partner with health care providers and social enterprises to encourage people to get screened for hypertension and to ensure high-quality referral, treatment, and follow-up.

Strengthening disease surveillance systems and data management

In the context of global epidemics like Zika and Ebola that highlight the increasing importance of global disease surveillance, PATH is working with local government and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to improve national capacity to anticipate, prevent, and overcome infectious disease outbreaks. Through the Global Health Security Partnership, PATH is providing technical assistance to the Vietnam Ministry of Health and four of its national and regional institutes to improve infectious disease surveillance to ensure stronger and better linked systems through real-time surveillance, reporting, and development of emergency operations centers. The goal is to create a robust system to detect and report threats more rapidly, efficiently monitor trends, and produce actionable data for public health planning and response. To ensure these systems are fully functional and sustainable, the Global Health Security Partnership focuses on building the capacity of staff at local agencies and organizations by both developing training materials and courses and offering tailored technical assistance.