Vietnamese Prime Minister Seeks French Support in Combating Emerging Infectious Diseases

Hanoi – Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh of Vietnam met with renowned French virologist Prof. Francoise Barre-Sinoussi in Hanoi on November 14, seeking France’s support in researching and combating emerging infectious diseases. The meeting highlighted Vietnam’s proactive approach in addressing global health challenges.

According to Vietnam News Agency, Chinh expressed his admiration for Prof. Barre-Sinoussi, who co-discovered the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and was awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 2008. The professor, who has visited Vietnam more than 20 times since 1988, has been instrumental in training Vietnamese scientists and connecting local hospitals and research institutes with international networks.

Chinh emphasized the continuously strengthening cooperation between Vietnam and France, particularly in medical collaboration, which was notably evident in the joint fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. He expressed appreciation for the medical cooperation with France and the Pasteur Institute in Paris, where Prof. Barre-Sinoussi is based.

The Prime Minister urged France, the Pasteur Institute, and Prof. Barre-Sinoussi to encourage further research on emerging infectious diseases in Vietnam. He also requested support for expanding cooperative activities, experience exchange, training scientific staff, building facilities, transferring technology, and implementing projects related to the prevention and control of HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis B and C, and other infectious diseases.

Chinh proposed that Vietnam be selected as one of the global research sites in health and for consultation on policy development to combat HIV/AIDS and other epidemics. He also sought assistance in training medical human resources, increasing scholarships for Vietnamese medical students, facilitating exchanges between scientists from both countries, and funding specific health sector programs and projects in Vietnam.

In response, Prof. Barre-Sinoussi and her colleagues expressed gratitude for the Vietnamese Government’s support and commitment to health collaboration. They pledged to continue supporting Vietnam in fighting not only HIV but also other infectious diseases such as COVID-19, tuberculosis, hepatitis, monkeypox, dengue fever, and emerging infectious diseases. They agreed to provide technical assistance, research exchange, and human resources training in health as requested by Prime Minister Chinh.

This meeting underscores Vietnam’s dedication to enhancing its capacity to manage infectious diseases and highlights the role of international collaboration in addressing global health challenges.