INDEPENDENT NEWS

Cablegate: Vietnam: The Deputy Secretary's Visit to Hiv/Aids

Published: Thu 19 May 2005 02:25 AM
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 HANOI 001167
SIPDIS
DEPT FOR S/GAC
DEPT PASS USAID FOR ANE/KUNDER AND ANE-SPO BRADY
DEPT PASS USAID FOR ANE/KENNEDY
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID ECON OSCI VM HIV AIDS
SUBJECT: VIETNAM: THE DEPUTY SECRETARY'S VISIT TO HIV/AIDS
HOSPITAL
1. Summary: The Deputy Secretary visited the National
Institute for Clinical Research and Tropical Medicine
(NICRTM) at Hanoi's Bach Mai Hospital on May 6 to learn about
its programs for the care, treatment and identification of
people living with HIV/AIDS. Hospital and program directors
gave brief presentations about the hospital, the HIV/AIDS
inpatient and outpatient care programs and the voluntary
counseling and testing centers. They thanked the United
States for selecting Vietnam as one of fifteen focus
countries in the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief
(PEPFAR). The Deputy Secretary noted that Bach Mai
Hospital's HIV/AIDS program is the cornerstone of HIV/AIDS
activities in Vietnam and said that its success will help in
ongoing prevention efforts. He briefly toured the inpatient
ward and presented gifts of powdered milk and books to AIDS
patients. Twenty members of the international and Vietnamese
press covered the Deputy Secretary's visit to Bach Mai. End
Summary.
2. The Deputy Secretary met with Vice Minister of Health Le
Ngoc Trong; Director of Bach Mai Hospital Dr. Tran Quy;
Director of the National Institute for Clinical Research and
Tropical Medicine (NICRTM) Professor Nguyen Duc Hien;
representatives of the Therapy, International Cooperation and
Preventive Medicine Departments of the Ministry of Health;
and, staff at the Bach Mai Hospital, Hanoi, Vietnam. The
purpose of the visit was to learn about their programs for
the care, treatment and identification of people living with
HIV/AIDs.
3. Representing the Minister of Health, Vice Minister Trong
welcomed the Deputy Secretary. He noted that this visit
demonstrated the interest of the United States in the health
and welfare of the Vietnamese people. He thanked the United
States for selecting Vietnam as one of fifteen PEPFAR Focus
Countries and urged close collaboration between the United
States and Vietnam to meet the goals both of Vietnam's
National Strategy to Combat HIV/AIDS and PEPFAR. Doctors Quy,
Hien and staff followed with descriptions of Bach Mai
Hospital and its HIV/AIDS programs.
4. Dr. Quy briefed that Bach Mai hospital, established in
1911, is now the largest hospital in Vietnam. It employs
more than 2,000 health care workers. Within this hospital,
the National Institute for Clinical Research and Tropical
Medicine is responsible for the care and treatment of
patients with HIV/AIDS. The hospital also operates a
separate Voluntary Counseling and Testing Center (VCT).
Funding for the development and operation of the inpatient
and outpatient programs as well as the VCT center comes, in
part, from the President's Emergency Plan.
5. Dr. Hien noted that the NICRTM inpatient program was
established in 1989. It treats 300-400 HIV/AIDS patients
each year. The program initiated antiretroviral therapy
(ART) in 1997; approximately 80 patients are now on ART,
funded by the Ministry of Health. Dr. Hien emphasized that
PEPFAR funds will greatly increase the number of AIDS
patients who will be able to receive ART. The NICRTM
outpatient program was established in December 2003. It is
supported by PEPFAR through the Department of Health and
Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Since then, more than 1,110 patients have received clinical
care, lab tests, treatment for opportunistic infections and
counseling. NICRTM also trains staff from Bach Mai Hospital
and others in the care and treatment of HIV/AIDS patients,
including the administration of ARTs.
6. Dr. Hien said that since its opening in February 2003, the
Bach Mai VCT Center has served more than 5,300 clients, of
whom more than 23 percent have tested HIV positive. Center
services include testing for HIV infection (laboratory
services), counseling and referrals to other hospital
services. PEPFAR funds this project through USAID. This
program provides staff training, quality assurance and
outreach.
7. The Deputy Secretary closed the one-hour program by noting
that Bach Mai Hospital HIV/AIDS program is the cornerstone of
HIV/AIDS activities in Vietnam. Bach Mai's success will help
in ongoing prevention efforts in Vietnam. The Deputy
Secretary predicted that the USD 25 million dedicated to
SIPDIS
HIV/AIDS prevention, care and treatment through PEPFAR will
grow. PEPFAR will help the United States and Vietnam broaden
the base of the bilateral relationship. He concluded by
thanking the hospital staff for their hard work and
commitment to treating and caring for patients with HIV/AIDS.
BOARDMAN
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