Illustrative image (Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Since Vietnam and the World Health Organisation (WHO) set up their partnership in 1976, the WHO, as the world leading technical consultation body in health care, has helped Vietnam’s greatly improve its health sector.

Over the past four decades, the WHO has helped improve the quality of health care services and public health in Vietnam.

The organisation helped Vietnam eradicate polio and neonatal tetanus, and build standards for public health care. More than 90 percent of babies under a year old in Vietnam have received vaccinations, while 80 percent of pregnant women get tetanus shots.

Thanks to the WHO’s assistance, Vietnam has showed strong performance in implementing Millennium Development Goals, reducing the maternal and infant fatality, malnutrition, enhancing people’s access to clean water, preventing HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and implementing universal health coverage.

Vietnam is also striving to have more than 85 percent of the population joining health insurance, while rolling out measures to cope with epidemics and urgent public health problems.

In January 2018, the Ministry of Health worked with the WHO in Vietnam to launch the health cooperation programme for 2018-2019 at a cost of 21 million USD.

Under the programme, the ministry and the WHO will work together to enhance the capacity of the health care system to provide high quality and equal services to the community, especially poor people and vulnerable groups.

Alongside, the two sides will raise the quality of the local health care system and the efficiency of finance resources for the sector, while tightening regulations related to pharmaceuticals, vaccines and health care products.

Established in 1948, the WHO has played a key role in controlling and fighting diseases as well as giving health care standards and guidelines, and assisting countries in dealing with public health issues.

Over the past 70 years, from 53 founding members, the WHO now has 193 members and six regional offices around the world. With its efforts, the WHO has made important achievements such as erasing smallpox in 1979, issuing the framework convention on cigarette control, reducing 99 percent of polio cases in 2006 and preventing and controlling dangerous communicable diseases such as SARS, bird flu and Ebola.

As an active member of the WHO, Vietnam has joined all meetings and forums on international cooperation in health care. The country was elected as a member of the Executive Board of the WHO for 2003-2005 and 2016-2019.

Vietnam has also contributed to ensuring health security in the region and the world by working with other countries to control global epidemics, training health care workers for neighbouring countries and sending its experts to regional and African countries.

The country has also hosted conferences and events in the health care sector.-VNA