The Vietnam One Health University Network (VOHUN), was established in November 22nd 2011 with the support of USAID and the RESPOND project, bringing 17 medical, veterinary and public health Universities/ Faculties/ Departments in Vietnam together to promote and develop a backbone of the One Health (OH) concept in Vietnam. Three core universities and faculties (Hanoi School of Public Health – HSPH, Hanoi Medical University – HMU, Hanoi University of Agriculture – HUA) were chosen initially as they were seen to be leaders in their respective fields, and covered a range of disciplines deemed to be important for the One Health approach. Following the establishment of the Network, each group of core universities worked with USAID and RESPOND in their respective countries to develop National OH networks, involving a larger group of related faculties, to promote and disseminate the outcomes and benefits of the network more widely to respond to emerging and re-emerging infectious and zoonotic diseases.
The OH approach involves many different disciplines, working trans-disciplinary, to strengthen the ability of professionals working on outbreak investigation and response to react strategically, effectively and efficiently to future emerging infectious diseases in the region. Many of the professionals working in outbreak response (doctors, veterinarians, nurses, public health professionals, ecologists, epidemiologists etc.) work in government agencies and have undergone university training, and therefore it is easy to see how embedding the philosophy of OH in the training of these young professionals is the most appropriate way to ensure that the approach is strongly supported and implemented in the future.