The first National Stakeholders meeting for the Vietnamese component of ECOMORE2 project has been held in Hanoi on 07th August 2018.

This meeting came just after receiving the approval from the MoH to implement the study. The NIHE already received the approval from the National Ethic Committee. So, now the operational stage of the project can start.

Prof. Dang Duc Anh, Director of NIHE made an opening speech to set the ECOMORE2 study in the context of the findings of ECOMORE1 project and reminded the participants why the neglected Leptospirosis which is still a poorly documented disease can become a public health issue in Vietnam due to likely effects of climate change on the disease emergence and occurrence of epidemics.

Before the description of the study, A/Prof. Le Thi Phuong Mai, Head of Department of Public Health at NIHE and project manager of ECOMORE, showed to the assistance that in Vietnam, Leptospirosis is still a neglected disease with very limited reporting due to non-specific clinical signs and complex laboratory testing. She insisted that Leptospirosis is a One Health concern and the several participants from One Health Partnership (Knowledge Management Officer) and from Animal Health side supported this approach. Actually it is important to state the active participation of key people from the Department of Livestock Production of Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (Small Poultry and Livestock Division and Animal Epidemiology Department), from the National Institute of Veterinary Research, from ILRI, CIRAD and FAO. Dr Mai presented to the participants objectives and methodology underlining that the main challenge will be not to miss cases. This presentation raised many questions and comments from the floor.

The second technical presentation was made by Dr Nguyen Trung Cap, head of the ICU at the National Hospital of Tropical Diseases in Hanoi. He has experience in Leptospirosis management at hospital level and he reminded that Leptospirosis is a neglected disease from the medical curriculum, only 2 hours are dedicated to Leptospirosis…additionally the MoH issued guidelines for surveillance and prevention but guidelines for diagnosis and management are still pending. There is a real need of updated and practical knowledge on Leptospirosis in Vietnam and the sharing of experience with the project in Myanmar will help to take this step. Dr Nguyen Trung Cap will participate in the Working Group organized in Yangon (29-30 August 2018) on clinical case definition and control case study.
This meeting gave also opportunity to ILRI (International Livestock Research Institute) to present researches conducted on sero-prevalence of Leptospirosis in pigs in Vietnam and identification of serogroups circulating in 5 selected provinces selected throughout the country. This presentation concludes on the need to evaluate the association between leptospirosis and potential environmental risk factors and to evaluate the seasonal and temporal patterns of leptospirosis in humans and animals; these questions should be documented by ECOMORE2 project.
Besides the participation of Authorities, Heads of Communicable Disease Control Department of the Provincial Preventive Medical Center of the selected provinces and Hanoi city, the Deputy Director of the Provincial Department of Health in Thai Binh province, 4 key participants from the Institute of Hydrology and Meteorology Science and Climate Change (Deputy President, Director, Deputy Director and Head of Department), it is important to note the participation of representatives of WHO, USCDC, USAID, CENPHER (Center for Public Health and Ecosystem Research– Hanoi University of Public Health).

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