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Special issue of Vietnam Journal of Preventive Medicine - Risk assessment for Health Research in Vietnam

Risk analysis comprises three components: risk assessment, risk management and risk communication. Risk assessment (RA) is a scientific approach to assess adverse health effects of hazards, and is therefore conducted by scientists, providing scientific evidence on health effects. These evidences serve to inform and assist risk managers in taking measures to mitigate health risks. In the developed world, risk assessment - supported and guided by the large database of diseases and exposure - is widely applied and used as a tool for risk management. In developing countries, including Vietnam, there is a gap in applying risk assessment in forming policy due to the lack of risk assessment research and expertise as well as of data availability. This is one of the reasons that the Journal of Preventive Medicine published the special issue entitled “Risk Assessment in Health Research in Vietnam” in June 2013.

This special issue includes a collection of 14 original research papers, news and discussions on risk assessment which have been used in health research in Vietnam up to now. In this issue, risk analysis framework- especially risk assessment, risk communication, and their use in health research- will be featured. Risk assessment was used to assess health impact in specific case studies covering microbial hazards (Salmonella, E. coli O157, Listeria monocytogenes in pork value chain) and chemical hazards (arsenic contaminated water, dioxin in food, pesticide in agricultural production). This research used risk assessment for various environments such as food matrix, water, and atmosphere. Review and discussion papers will provide a general landscape on the current status of risk assessment research, skills in risk assessment, as well as the linkage between risk assessors and policy makers in translating risk assessment results into making decisions for risk management measures. This issue takes the opportunity to introduce the initiative to strengthen capacity building for risk assessment in-depth research by providing a handful of Vietnamese material on risk assessment as well as information on risk assessment training courses.

Cover of the special edition “Risk Assessment in Health Research in Vietnam”

Amid the gap in material on risk assessment in Vietnamese, this special issue plays a significant role in providing readers with a wide range of risk assessment information in just a handout, which is hoped to serve as a quick mode of access to risk assessment information. This work is a broad collaborating effort between the Journal of Preventive Medicine and the Center for Public Health and Ecosystem Research (CENPHER), Hanoi School of Public Health (HSPH). The support to this work was the Ministry of Health (MOH), the World Health Organization (WHO) in Vietnam, the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH), the Sandec/Eawag, the NCCR North-South, the CRP4/IFPRI, and the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), Australian Center for International Agriculture Research (ACIAR).

Papers in the special issue “Risk Assessment in Health Research in Vietnam”


Paper title



Risk assessment and health research in Vietnam

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Risk assessment of Salmonella in pork in Hanoi, Vietnam*

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Food-borne hazard in transforming pork value chain in Hanoi: basis for future risk assessment*

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Health risk due to exposure to chlorpyrifos for farmers in Thai Binh:  probabilistic risk assessment

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Risk assessment of Arsenic contamination  in tube-well drinking water in Hanam province

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Environmental health risk assessment of dioxin in foods in Da Nang dioxin hot spot

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Prevalence of Salmonella contamination in pig and pork at farms and slaughterhouses in the Northern provinces of Vietnam*

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Air Pollution as a Health Issue in Hanoi Vietnam: An Opportunity for Intensified Research to inform Public Policy

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Environmental health risk communication: concept, principles and challenges

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Training and Research Programmes in Health Risk Assessment in Vietnam

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Taskforce of risk assessment for food safety in Vietnam: linking science to policy to increase food safety and livelihood generation of the poor farmers*

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Research projects on health risk assessment implemented by the Hanoi School of Public


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News on risk assessment training in Vietnam*

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Book review: 2 books on risk assessment in Vietnamese*

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*: paper highly relevant to pork food safety in Vietnam