The 10th Vietnam-US Joint Committee Meeting on Science and Technology took place in Washington DC from October 15 to 17 (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – In the context of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, science-technology cooperation in health care and pharmaceuticals is one of the important fields Vietnam is promoting.

At the 10th Vietnam-US Joint Committee Meeting on Science and Technology in Washington DC last week, the two countries agreed to enhance science-technology collaboration on health care and health sciences besides partnership in agriculture and biotechnology, and environmental conservation science.

Judith Garber, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Oceans, International Environmental and Scientific Affairs at the US Department of State, highly valued bilateral cooperation achievements, particularly in the Global Health Security Agenda, the Field Epidemiology Training Programme, the biological threat reduction programme, and the research project on cancer prevention and treatment.

In early October, Olga Lidia Tapia Iglesias, Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba Central Committee and head of the Central Committee’s Department of Science, Education and Sports, had a working session with the Vietnamese Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST) to review joint research projects capitalising on the countries’ science-technology advantages.

The Cuban official particularly hailed the project on producing antigens in pertussis vaccine by using genetic mutation, and another to develop Vi polysaccharide typhoid vaccine.

MoST Minister Chu Ngoc Anh said 2018 is an important year in the cooperation between his ministry and the Cuban Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment. They have signed a memorandum of understanding on cooperation to concretise the two countries’ science-technology cooperation agreement inked in 1997. The document aims to serve as a basis for expanding bilateral cooperation in a practical, effective and sustainable manner in the new period.

He added that Vietnam wishes to cooperate with leading science-technology organisations of Cuba in biotechnology, health care and pharmaceuticals. 

The ministries also talked the building of an action plan on science and technology to create favourable conditions for implementing joint research activities. This issue will be discussed at the 36th meeting of the Vietnam-Cuba Intergovernmental Committee in Havana this November, Anh added.

Meanwhile, Japan is also an important partner in science-technology cooperation in health care. The two countries have reached an agreement on stepping up exchanges and sharing in some prioritised areas, including universal health care, prevention and control of new and re-emerging infectious diseases, disaster response, human resources development, pharmaceuticals, and medical equipment.

Notably, under the Vietnam-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement, Japan has received Vietnamese caregivers for further training and practice since 2012.

Recently, TH Group of Vietnam and International Total Engineering Corporation (ITEC) of Japan have entered into a contract to build a hi-tech healthcare complex in Hanoi.

ITEC President Johtaro Seki said his firm will support TH Group to access the world’s most modern medical solutions. The hi-tech healthcare complex is designed to become a five-star general hospital with Japanese-standard nurses and caregivers. 

The partnership marks a new cooperation in health care between the two countries in the time ahead, he noted.-VNA