Vietnam has overcome many hardships and taken enormous strides forward in improving health and quality of life. There has been significant progress towards ending ongoing epidemics of infectious diseases.
Take malaria, for example; just over 30 years ago, Vietnam carried the burden of one million malaria cases a year, with approximately 4,600 deaths. In 2022, the total number of cases was just 455, with no outbreak since 2016. There is still work to do to achieve the goal of malaria elimination, but the target is firmly within reach – and this in itself is a noteworthy achievement.
|Dr. Angela Pratt - Representative in Vietnam World Health Organization |
Social health insurance continues to expand with population coverage of health insurance over 92 per cent, advancing Vietnam’s progress towards universal health coverage by providing more support for people to access essential health services and greater financial protection from the cost of doing so.
While much has been achieved in terms of healthcare and quality of life, like other countries, Vietnam still faces serious challenges. These include infectious threats like tuberculosis and HIV; emerging food-borne diseases; increasing non-communicable diseases such as cancer and diabetes; and the health impacts of the changing environment and climate, such as respiratory illness caused by air pollution, and increases in other vector-borne diseases such as dengue as a result of changing weather patterns.
Further, the benefits of advances in areas such as child and maternal health have not been distributed equitably – with some remote and disadvantaged communities, in particular ethnic minority groups, still are facing high rates of malnutrition and poor access to basic health services.
In addition, Vietnam’s population is ageing rapidly, and its economy fast developing – both of which are already creating an increased demand for high-quality health services. Responding to this demand and to the changing needs of the population will require efforts to strengthen the health system, with a particular focus on the grassroots healthcare system and stronger coordination and integration of health and social care.
Investing in strengthening the health system, especially at the grassroots healthcare level, will deliver dividends not only for health but also contribute to advancing the country’s broader social and development goals. Such a health system also means having a robust regulatory system that balances incentives for research, development, and innovation, with the need/objective to safeguard public health and ensure equitable access to safe, quality medicines, vaccines, and other health products.
While the list of health challenges still facing Vietnam is considerable, the foundations for tackling these challenges are strong: high-level political commitment and government leadership, committed and capable partners, and dedicated health workers. It will be important to continue building a strong health system to address these challenges, including a robust, well-regulated pharmaceutical sector that balances incentives for research, development, and innovation, with the need to provide high-quality medicines that everyone can afford.
| ||Powering innovation for sustainable pharma-healthcare development |
Experts highlighted the importance of powering innovation for sustainable pharma-healthcare development at the second panel discussion at a VIR conference on Thursday July 20.
| ||Viatris determined to address healthcare needs holistically |
Global healthcare company Viatris is extending its global impact and further strengthening a firm commitment as a trusted partner of the Vietnamese healthcare community. Eunice Cho, Viatris country manager in Vietnam, talked to VIR’s Minh Anh about the strategy to contribute more.
| ||Bayer Vietnam in advance to health for all |
Bayer Vietnam is maintaining its position at the forefront of innovative solutions and partnerships to promote the sustainable development of the nation’s healthcare sector.
| ||More effort needed to increase pharma readiness |
Amid existing challenges and new investment approaches towards innovation and science and technology, the pharma-healthcare sector is working to tap into these trends, while developing and enhancing regulations.