August 25, 2017
Readout of Secretary Price’s Meetings in Vietnam
On Wednesday, August 23 and Thursday, August 24, Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, M.D., visited Vietnam on the second leg of a three-nation tour of Asia in support of President Donald Trump’s commitment to global health security.
In Ho Chi Minh City, Secretary Price joined Vietnam’s Minister of Health Nguyen Thi Kim Tien and U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam Ted Osius at the official opening of the Southern Vietnam Public Health Emergency Operations Center (EOC) located on the campus of the Pasteur Institute. The EOC was developed through a partnership between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Vietnam’s Ministry of Health. It will help coordinate health security efforts across Vietnam, allow scientists, researchers, and healthcare providers to share vital data, and contribute to Vietnam’s capability to monitor and respond to outbreaks of infectious diseases like influenza.
The U.S. delegation visited a pediatric hospital where they toured an intensive care unit and met with children who have been able to live with HIV since birth thanks to antiretroviral medications – part of a treatment program supported in large part by the United States and HHS personnel on the ground in Vietnam. At the U.S. Consulate in Ho Chi Minh City, Secretary Price met with HHS staff from the U.S. and from Vietnam, and had the opportunity to recognize the significant contribution of team members – including some Vietnamese staff who have worked for HHS for over a decade.
At the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting, Secretary Price participated in a meeting with healthcare stakeholders and delivered the keynote address for APEC’s 7th High Level Meeting on Health and the Economy. His remarks highlighted the leading role the United States is playing to advance global health security through collaboration with other nations as well as private-sector partners, and called on all APEC member economies to invest time and resources into protecting and promoting the health and well-being of the people of the Asia-Pacific region.
During a bilateral meeting, Secretary Price and Minister Tien signed a memorandum of understanding to facilitate the expansion of laboratory capabilities to detect and respond to infectious disease outbreaks in the region.
On Thursday, the U.S. delegation participated in a videoconference meeting at the Hanoi Medical University. The discussion with university leadership, professors, and students focused on the partnership between the United States and Vietnam in sharing information and best practices related to treating substance abuse disorder, specifically opioid addiction. Secretary Price said that the opioid crisis is one that knows no boundaries, and in addressing drug abuse and addiction, the United States and Vietnam can learn a lot from each other about how to treat substance abuse as a public health issue. Secretary Price noted the outstanding progress made in Vietnam, and encouraged the cadre of young students present.
In the afternoon, Secretary Price met with personnel from CDC and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) at their offices in Hanoi to thank them for the work they have been doing for decades in Vietnam to combat HIV/AIDS and to strengthen health security efforts to protect the American people, our partners in Vietnam, and the world.
Prior to departing for Japan, Secretary Price met with Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc to emphasize the productive and important partnership between the United States and Vietnam in advancing global health security, and the great value that the health partnership has brought to the overall U.S.-Vietnam bilateral relationship.