The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will open a Southeast Asia office in Hanoi to increase its public health engagement in the region, according to the US State Department.
|Vietnam’s Acting Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long speaks at the online meeting. Photo: MoH|
The department said in a statement after an virtual meeting between Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and counterparts of ASEAN nations on Thursday.
During an online meeting a day before, Mitch Wolfe, a master of Public Health, director of the US CDC, and Vietnam’s Acting Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long discussed the establishment of such an office in Vietnam.
Prof. Dr. Nguyen Thanh Long welcomed Mitch Wolfe’s proposal on establishing Southeast Asia regional office in Vietnam, the Vietnamese health ministry said on its website.
The role of the regional CDC office has not been unveiled yet, but it would increase the US CDC’s capacity in Southeast Asia.
Mr. Long assigned the Department of International Cooperation, in coordination with the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to seek authorization from the Vietnamese government.
According to the US CDC website, the agency is working with Thailand and Vietnam on funding the surveillance systems that can monitor the spread of Covid-19.
The CDC has been leading the US response to the Covid-19 pandemic. It has a number of local offices around the world, mainly in developing countries such as India and Indonesia. It also has an office in China where was the epicenter of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Earlier this year, the US CDC announced an initial grant of US$3.9 million to fund activities in Vietnam in support of prevention, preparedness and response to the Covid-19 outbreak.