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Denmark helps Vietnam enhance primary health care
Anh Kiet 18:36, 2024/03/06
Cooperation between Vietnam and Denmark in the field of health is based on a common understanding that primary health care is crucial to ensure equitable access to health and to tackle the growing burden of noncommunicable diseases.

The strategic sector cooperation between Vietnamese and Danish health authorities aims to strengthen primary health care in Vietnam for the prevention, detection, and treatment management of non-communicable diseases through policy dialogue, technical exchanges, and training.

The above was highlighted during Danish Minister for Interior and Health Sophie Løhde’s visit to Vietnam on March 5 and 6. The minister’s two-day visit is to further strengthen the bilateral health cooperation, especially on primary health care and non-communicable diseases.

Minister Løhde is the first high-level Danish minister to visit Vietnam since the signing of the Green Strategic Partnership (GSP) last November, in which Vietnam and Denmark reaffirmed their mutual commitment to continued cooperation in the health sector, one of five bilateral strategic sector cooperation programmes.

Danish Minister of the Interior and Health Sophie Løhde (middle) at a meeting with Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Health Tran Van Thuan. Photo: Embassy of Denmark in Vietnam 

Starting in 2016, the Strategic Sector Cooperation includes activities at the policy level with the Ministry of Health, as well as at the local level, including the Department of Health and 30 commune health stations in Vietnam's northern province of Thai Binh.

In addition to Strategic Sector Cooperation, Denmark supports Vietnam through the Danida Fellowship Centre (DFC) training courses and joint research projects, promoting the transfer of knowledge, expertise, and experience between health workers and experts from the two countries. There are currently more than 120 Vietnamese DFC alumni in the health sector who have studied in Denmark, either for short courses, masters, or PhDs.

At the meeting with Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Health Tran Van Thuan, the Danish Minister said the cooperation can serve as inspiration for the development of a strong Vietnamese model for ensuring equal access to basic healthcare, reducing out-of-pocket spending, and helping patients live their lives to the fullest despite diseases.

During her visit to Vietnam, the Danish Minister for Interior and Health had a meeting with the Chairperson of the Social Affairs Committee of the National Assembly Nguyen Thuy Anh in which they together explored opportunities to strengthen Vietnam’s primary healthcare system and discussed how to enhance equal access to health services for disadvantaged communities in the country.

The minister also visited Thai Binh Province, where training activities and joint research are being carried out. Before the end of her visit, the minister will engage with Vietnamese partners in efforts to curb anti-microbial resistance, a killer of more than 1.3 million people globally in 2019, during a visit to the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology.

Danish Minister visits and works in Thai Binh. Photo: The Embassy of Denmark in Vietnam

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