On 17 June 2010, the Department of Health of HCM City (DoH) inaugurated a completely refurbished suite of offices dedicated to the support of Health Research in Ho Chi Minh City and in doing so opened up a new era in the collaboration between DoH & OUCRU-VN and Wellcome Trust Major Overseas Programme in Viet Nam. The new Office for Health Research DoH includes a large training and meeting room (80m2) and an office (60m2) with an integrated electronic library available for anyone in the health sector in HCMC to use. The funding for this renovation was approximately 50,000 USD and has been supported by the Oxford University Clinical Research Unit and Wellcome Trust Major Overseas Programme. The DoH and OUCRU-VN & WT have worked together for 18 years but this represents a major new programme of collaborative work named “Strengthening the capacity of management and development of research activities of HCMC health sector”.
Professor Jeremy Farrar Director of OUCRU-VN, said: ‘The new Office for Health Research is a symbol and a strong foundation for our collaborative clinical and scientific research programme. In the future, we hope this collaboration will develop further with DoH and the hospitals and health sector of HCMC. In the future the health sector in HCM City will inevitably face new challenges. Viet Nam has made great advances in the control of malaria and typhoid, but now we are faced with problems from dengue fever, influenza, emerging infections, TB, drug resistance and increasingly in areas such as cardio-vascular diseases, stroke and mental health. We are delighted that this new Office of Health Research, an idea suggested from the DoH, will work to coordinate and develop a research strategy for HCMC in the years ahead and we look forward to working closely with the DoH and all partners.
The project will be conducted over a three - year period (2009-2012) in which the main objectives are establishment of the Office of Health Research at DoH, the setting up an Ethics Council for Biomedical Research at DoH; training on research methodology and skills for healthcare staff of HCMC health sector; sharing expertise, knowledge and skills in research between DoH and OUCRU-VN and the WT; cooperating in implementation of applied research topics; transferring technology and applying research achievements in disease prevention and taking care of patients as well as in the community.
Chau Nguyen Van, Director of DoH, said: ‘We are very glad to see the results of the collaboration between DoH and OUCRU-VN supported by Wellcome Trust and the South East Asia Clinical Infectious Disease Research Network (SEAICRN). The professional development in the health sector of HCM City has benefitted hugely from the work of OUCRU-VN and the Wellcome Trust, especially in tropical and infectious diseases field. I would like our cooperation will strengthen further in the future, particularly in clinical research and public health.