Workforce development is fundamental for ensuring sustainable and effective biological risk management for health security systems.
On the 12th of March 2019, the U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency’s (DTRA) Cooperative Biological Engagement Program (CBEP) organized the CBEP’s Project Management Review (PMR) meeting in Hanoi. The purpose of the PMR was to provide a review of achievements from 2018, as well as introduce biosafety, biosecurity, bio-surveillance, science & research activities planned for 2019. In attendance were members of the Vietnamese Government, partners in the human health sector, partners in the animal health sector, and U.S. Government Agencies such as USAID the CDC.
At the meeting, Dr. Pham Duc Phuc gave a brief presentation on behalf of the Vietnam One Health University Network (VOHUN). Dr Phuc detailed achievements the VOHUN, Sandia National Laboratory (SNL) and DTRA partnership accomplished in 2018, as well as future directions for the coming years. Improved One Health workforce capacity results in wide ranging knowledge and cross-sectoral competencies on biological risk management. Thus, the investment in the future one health workforce aims to prevent, detect and respond to infectious disease threats in an efficient and effective manner.
In order to ensure long term sustainability of its programs in Vietnam, the DTRA, through SNL, started building BioRisk Management (BRM) capacity by taking a three-phase approach: (1) Engaging with government institutions by strengthening the national biosafety and biosecurity system. (2) Engaging with academic institutions through VOHUN to educate the One Health Workforce in order to promote a shared culture of responsibility, reduce dual use risks, mitigate biological proliferation and prevent deliberate use threats. (3) Link trained government institutions with academia (VOHUN) in order to support and ensure the countries strategic plan to be a regional leader in health security.
Vietnam has engaged in risk reduction approaches to biosafety and biosecurity over the previous decade with support from the DTRA. Thus, we anticipate Vietnam will emerge as an internationally recognized leader in One Health, with DTRA potentially using Vietnam as a model to replicate such successes in other countries across SEA and Africa.
(attached the presentation – PDF)