Viet Nam
Promoting collaboration and information sharing between members of the One Health Communication Network (OHCN)
The first quarterly meeting for 2017 of the One Health Communication Network in Ha Noi focused on discussing covered issues of common concern and sharing information of related activities among members.

On 17 March 2017, the first quarterly meeting for 2017 of the One Health Communication Network (OHCN) was held in Ha Noi with the participation of national and international members. Discussion topics covered issues of common concern such as antimicrobial resistance, a situation update on avian influenza in the world and in Viet Nam - mainly focusing on influenza A(H7N9) - and extension activities as well as international cooperation in the One Health field.

Attending the meeting, representatives of the Department of Animal Health/MARD and the General Department of Preventive Medicine/MOH presented an update on avian influenza in general and influenza A(H7N9) in particular in the world and Viet Nam. Prevention and control activities as well as the key directions of the two sectors in the upcoming time were also outlined. It could be seen that both Ministries have been conducting close and timely guidance during the peak risk period for disease incursion into Viet Nam. Dr. Ha Thuy Hanh, Vice Director of the National Agricultural Extension Centre, introduced the Centre's on-going work in communicable disease prevention, requesting OHCN members to share information and to cooperate with each other to promote joint efforts.

Dr. Nguyen Viet Hung, Regional Representative, International Livestock Research Institute in Viet Nam (ILRI), presented on the lessons learned and international cooperation opportunities of Viet Nam’s delegation at the One Health – EcoHealth (OHEH) Conference in Melbourne, Australia (December 2016). Dr. Hung underlined the importance of enhancing the exchange of information between researchers and policy makers through promoting communication publications and policy briefs in order to deliver more evidence-based and visual messages to policy- and decision-makers. In this context, the roles of the OHP and OHCN are considered to be extremely important as a bridge between the research and policy communities. In this regard, Ms. Dao Thu Trang - Manager of the OHP Secretariat also provided information on the SCOH-2 project, in which the new “Research-to-Policy” initiative with six-monthly workshops will support the timely provision of the best national and international research evidence for the policy making process in the field of One Health.

Concerning antimicrobial resistance (AMR), which has emerged as a significant concern, Dr. Trinh Hong Son, Director of Communications Center, National Institute of Nutrition (NIN) presented the study: “Three dimensions of the One Health and community intervention model for MDR bacteria in Viet Nam”. Findings in Viet Nam have shown that more than 60% of people are colonized with AMR-bacteria, that more than 10% of food has antibiotic residues, and that β-lactam and Colistin are widely used in the community. Three dimensions of One Health in relation to the problem of the spread of Multi-Drug Resistant Bacteria in Viet Nam are: the international dimension (food export and import), the national dimension (food distribution in the big market economy), and the community dimension (self-consumption and small scale distribution). However, this study only focuses on the Community Model. The results of a KAP (Knowledge – Attitude – Practice) study in Trai hamlet, Chu Minh commune, Ba Vi district, Ha Noi, concentrating on risk factors and public health interventions indicated that the prevalence of ESBL-E.coli has decreased from 59.90% (pre-intervention measurement in June 2014) to 35.23% (post-intervention measurement in February 2016). This provides a good example of communication interventions bringing positive impacts to the knowledge, attitudes and practice of local people, contributing to the reduction of risk factors and of the prevalence of resistant bacteria in the community. 

The quarterly OHCN meeting is also a good chance for members to share information about their upcoming plans, thereby seeking opportunities to collaborate and increase the effectiveness of disease prevention activities. It is expected that there will be a presentation on rabies in the second quarterly meeting for 2017, given that the number of cases tends to increase during the May – June period, and because Viet Nam is making remarkable efforts in rabies prevention and control./.