A vaccination centre in Nghia Dong commune of Quang Ngai city, Quang Ngai province (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – The Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation (WHO) launched their cooperation programme for 2018 – 2019 in Hanoi on January 24.

Addressing the event, Deputy Minister of Health Le Quang Cuong underlined the assistance the WHO has provided for Vietnam in many fields, such as disease prevention and treatment, policy consultation, and expert training, raising the managerial capability and expertise of the health sector of Vietnam.

“WHO is always a reliable partner of Vietnam in public health care,” Cuong said.

The health cooperation programme with WHO, recently approved by the Government of Vietnam, will be carried out from January 2018 to December 2019.

Accordingly, the Health Ministry and WHO will join hands to improve the performance of the sector, thus offering better and equally accessible health care services for all people, particularly the poor and vulnerable groups, while reducing the burden of contagious and non-communicable diseases and other health threats.

The programme aims to develop the healthcare network at grassroots level; effectively use financial resources for health sector; strengthen regulations on pharmaceuticals, vaccines and medical products; and ensure better access to basic medicines and medical technology.

According to the Health Ministry, Vietnam has seen improvement in public health and reduction in the rate of contagious diseases infection and in the fatality rates of mothers, newborns, and children under five. More people have access to clean water supply and hygienic toilets.

However, the country is facing challenges from the increasing burden of non-communicable diseases and rapid aging population.

A representative of the WHO in Vietnam said the organisation will continue its support for the Government of Vietnam in implementing goals on caring and protecting people's health.

The health cooperation programme will be managed by the Ministry of Health of Vietnam with non-refundable official development assistance (ODA) of over 21.1 million USD.-VNA