South East Asia Regional Wildlife Health Capacity Assessment & Networking Forum, Bangkok, Thailand, August 13-15, 2013

Countries in Southeast Asia have significant wildlife resources, facing similar challenges and threats, including legal and illegal wildlife trade, human and wildlife conflict issues, and wildlife diseases. Additionally, wildlife is part of the region’s unique biodiversity and contributes to well functioning ecosystem that is closely linked to human health. Although wildlife resources are important in Southeast Asia, the capacity of governments to respond to wildlife disease threats, and of universities and other organizations to train future wildlife health professionals with an awareness of One Health approaches to EIDs in wildlife, varies considerably from country to country. The emergence of infectious diseases that threaten both human and animal urges countries in the region to strengthen capacity to prevent, detect, and respond to disease outbreaks in wildlife.

VOHUN - Grant Writing Workshop

From 20 August to 25 August 2013, the workshop on how to write a grant, which is in the framework of the Vietnam One Health University Network (VOHUN), was held in Da Nang, Vietnam.  The two facilitators from the workshop are Prof.  Beth A. Virning -  University of Minnesota, School of Public Health  and Prof. Raymond Hyatt - Tuffs University School of Medicine. 

Training course "Food safety risk assessment for informal value chains" 26th August - 6th September, 2013 in Hanoi

Participatory risk assessment is a powerful tool to understand the risks of informally-marketed foods and to plan effective intervention strategies. This course uses a good mixture of teaching and hands-on styles. After learning overview of food borne disease issues, the course will move into useful participatory methods and risk analysis. In risk assessment, participants will learn about stochastic processes, how to build and run a risk model and how to conduct sensitivity analysis in @Risk. Later in the course, risk assessment using R will be introduced.

New book: Glossary of terms in water supply and sanitation (Vietnamese – English)

To our knowledge, no complete translation of water and sanitation terminology exists from English or other languages into Vietnamese. This is why we decided to collect water and sanitation terms in English from different sources. We then translated these terms into Vietnamese and provided them with systematized explanations, which went through a round of editing in order to create the present Vietnamese glossary of water and sanitation terms. The purpose of our work was to contribute to the synthesis of water and sanitation terminology in Vietnamese and to create a platform for exchange among people working in this field. Indeed, the present document is meant as a first step towards a consolidated English-Vietnamese glossary in the field of water and sanitation. We explicitly call for feedback from readers who use the present document in their work.

Job announcement: Tenure Track Group Leader – Drinking Water Quality and Treatment in Low- and Middle-Income Countries (closed)

Applied interdisciplinary research is the key focus of this position, where the group leader shall establish and maintain a strong and internationally recognized team, working in close relationship with development actors and research partners in low and middle income countries. A strong interest in development cooperation and to communicate research results to a wide range of stakeholders from academia, business, government and civil society is a requirement. Experience with teaching and training of graduate level and working professionals is an asset.

Policy Brief Issue South East Asia No.4 - 'The Vietnamese double-vault composting latrine: Fertilizer source or health risk?'

Human excreta are rich in plant nutrients, so many farmers in Vietnam use them to fertilize their crops and in raising fish. But they also contain dangerous pathogens: bacteria, viruses, protozoa, and the eggs of intestinal parasites. Exposure can pose a health risk to farmers, their families, as well as consumers.

Urine is generally free of pathogens, so can be diluted and used as fertilizer directly. But the faeces have to be composted to kill the pathogens. Around one-fifth of households in Vietnam use a double-vault latrine that collects the faeces and allows them to decompose before spreading the resulting compost on their gardens and fields.

What are the benefits and risks of doing this? This issue of evidence for policy draws on research in Nghe An, Ha Nam and Nam Dinh in northern Vietnam to answer this question.

Job Re-announcement: Research Assistant/associate at Hanoi School of Public Health

The research assistant/associate will learn and utilise statistical analyses of disease data to understand the dynamics of infectious disease in terms of spatial and temporal occurrence, as well as mortality and morbidity mapping. He or she will investigate the determinants of dynamics of disease in particular environmental change, such as climatic change, socio-economic status, population growth, immigration, economic growth, etc and will help to determine how these can be used for disease surveillance, prediction, and control.

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.

The debut of VOHUN Newsletter first issue

The  first issue of Vietnam One Health University Network (VOHUN) has made its debut this June. It covers a number of activities of the Network recently. The two- year-old Network , with the participation of 17 Universities/Faculties/Departments implementing teaching and research on medicine and veterinary medicine in Vietnam has shown positive results in introducing the concept of One Health to the scientific community in the country, particularly in the teaching activities in faculties of medicine and veterinary medicine. The first issue of the VOHUN newsletter is unveiled at the VOHUN Strategic Planning Meeting this July in Nha Trang city.

VOHUN strategic planning meeting - The Foundation for Sustainable Development of VOHUN

The Vietnam One Health University Network (VOHUN) was established on 22/11/2011, with the participation of 17 Universities/Faculties/Departments implementing teaching and research on medicine and veterinary medicine in Vietnam. Two years after establishment a number of activities have been held in Vietnam, both national and international. VOHUN has shown positive results in introducing the concept of One Health to the scientific community in the country, particularly in the teaching activities in faculties of medicine and veterinary medicine.

The 10-year anniversary of the Veterinary Public Health for Asian Pacific - VPHCAP

The 10th anniversary of Veterinary Public Health Centre for Asia Pacific, University of Chiang Mai has been marked with an international symposium from 2 July to 6 July 2013 in Chiang Mai, Thailand. The symposium consists of three major events namely (i) the alumni meeting with the theme 'Asean stepping forward into One Health Society',(ii) the 3rd food safety and zoonoses Symposium for Asia Pacific. (iii) the 1st Regional Ecohealth (EH) Symposium: Social and Environmental Dynamic on Human and Animal Health.

One Health – Ecohealth in Vietnam – The second issue

The One Health – Ecohealth in Vietnam has been made to public this early June 2013, proceeded by the first one launched in January 2013. This second issue, apart from capturing some high lighted activities over the last three months, emphasizes on the National Conference on Applying a One Health Approach to the infectious disease risks at the human-animal- ecosystem interface in Vietnam which was held early April 2013. The second issue gained attentions at the symposium celebrating the 10 year anniversary of the Veterinary Public Health Center for Asia Pacific (VPHCAP) in Chiang Mai, Thailand from 3-6 July 2013. 

The One Health Risk Assessment Short Course-Hanoi, 3-7 June 2013

The One Health Risk Assessment Short Course was held in Hanoi from 3rd to 7th June 2013 by the Hanoi School of Public Health (HSPH) and the Vietnam One Health University Network (VOHUN), funded by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) through the RESPOND/EPT program. The Course was attended by 28 participants who are currently lecturers from Public Health, Veterinary, Nursery and Tropical Medicine fields from four countries of Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Vietnam. 

The EcoZD-FBLI Ecohealth Short Course

The first EcoHealth-OneHealth short course in Vietnam took place May 27 through May 30, 2013, hosted by the Center for Public Health and Ecosystem Research (CENPHER) out of the Hanoi School of Public Health (HSPH) and International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI). The participants included an international, multi-disciplinary, and multi-sector team of representatives from across the globe, including Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, the United States, and the Netherlands. 

PhD student position of the FBLI project

Ecohealth is useful for addressing health and environmental issues in developing countries, in particular in South East Asia (SEA) where agricultural intensification processes have profound implications for ecosystems and health. However, using the ecohealth approach to comprehensively tackle complex issues requires individual, institutional and country capacity in understanding and applying this approach within the context of the region. The newly developed program Field Building Leadership Initiative: advancing ecohealth in SEA (FBLI) aims at building the field of ecohealth by integrating research, training, policy and networking to focus on solving human health problems associated with agricultural intensification in SEA countries. This program is supported by International Development Research Center (IDRC, Canada) and implemented by a Regional Core Group – comprising representatives from a consortium of seven partner institutions from Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia and China with solid experience in ecohealth – will implement the program in close collaboration with national partners, other regional and global ecohealth networks.

The program is looking for a Ph.D candidate to be an active member of the research team.

The National Conference on applying a One Health approach to infectious disease risks at the human-animal-ecosystem interface in Viet Nam

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development ( MARD) in partnership with the Ministry of Health , the Embassy of the United States of America, the United Nation organizations in Vietnam i.e., the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Health Organization held the national conference on applying One Health approach in Vietnam in Hanoi on 2nd and 3rd April 2013.

IDRC Ecohealth Project Leader visits the HSPH and the VPHA

International Development Research Center (IDRC) Ecohealth Program Leader Dr. Dominique Charron paid a visit to the HSPH and its Center of Public Health and Ecosystem Research Center (CENPHER) on  4th February 2013. 

One Health -Ecohealth in Vietnam

Since the recent outbreaks of H5N1 and SARS in Vietnam, One Health and Ecohealth have been the key approaches not only in controlling diseases and bringing resources from human and animal health sectors but also in mobilizing the participation of many stakeholders from varied sectors. Currently, communication and exchange between One Health and Ecohealth activities in Vietnam are not occurring frequently. Therefore, we believe that gathering all forces from all of the programs, projects, and initiatives of One Health and Ecohealth in the country would have a greater impact in improving human, animal, environmental health. In this view, we proposed  a briefing for One Health and Ecohealth in Vietnam  (OHECO). 

FBLI Vietnam First Stakeholder Workshop in Hanam

The project ‘Field Building Leadership Initiative (FBLI): Advancing Ecohealth in South East Asia’ is a joint project of different partner countries and funded by the International Development Research Center (IDRC), Canada. In Vietnam it is implemented by the Center for Public Health and Ecosystem Research (CENPHER), under the Hanoi School of Public Health (HSPH) in Hanam province, with the research titled: ‘Using Ecohealth Approach for a Better Management of Livestock Waste in Hanam Province, Vietnam’. The first FBLI Vietnam Stakeholder Workshop was held in Hanam province, Vietnam from 19th to 20th January 2013. The workshop aimed to gain the consultations of different related stakeholders on the research plan of FBLI Vietnam.