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Abbott working towards a healthy Vietnam

Released at: 14:42, 08/11/2017 BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT

Abbott working towards a healthy Vietnam

Healthcare giant a Platinum sponsor of APEC CEO Summit and has done a great deal over the years to improve health throughout Vietnam.

by Phong Vu

Several pressing healthcare issues have been discussed prior to APEC 2017 in Vietnam, including food safety, healthy aging, and maternal health. In addition to government agencies, important contributions have come from companies in the private sector, such as Abbott, who is playing a significant role as APEC Platinum sponsor for the APEC CEO Summit.

Improving Food Safety Testing Capacity

According to recent reports, Vietnamese consumers are experiencing an unprecedented level of food safety incidents. Each year, on average, there are 167.8 cases with more than 5,000 people getting food poisoning and 27.3 people dying as a result.

There is an urgent demand for raising awareness about food safety and providing training for local experts on defining and harmonizing regulatory food safety standards. Taking product safety and consumer health at as the highest priorities, over recent years Abbott has been a role model in introducing leading innovation and scientific products in healthcare to Vietnamese consumers.

Abbott has been working with several partners to help address the issue, including the Vietnam Food Administration (VFA), the National Institute of Food Control (NIFC) at the Ministry of Health (MoH), the National Institute of Nutrition (NIN), the Institute for Food Safety and Health (IFSH), the New Zealand Food Safety Science Centre for Research (NZFSSCR), and a network of other research institutes. 

It signed memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the NIFC on activities now being conducted from July 2017 to December 2018, which are expected to improve food safety testing capabilities and bring benefits to Vietnamese people in the long term.

During APEC, Abbott helped to enhance the capacity of local experts so they could participate in the Food Safety Cooperation Forum held in August.

Actively Supporting “Healthy Aging” in Vietnam

Vietnam has among the fastest-aging populations in the world. There are over now 10 million elderly people out of a total population of just over 90 million and the figure will reach nearly 19 million by 2030. Even though the average age of Vietnamese is high (73 years old), the burden of non-communicable illness is also growing. On average, an elderly Vietnamese person has three diseases and suffers 15.3 years of sickness in their life.

With experience in nutrition, Abbott is accompanying Vietnam in adapting to its aging population, from providing science-based products to pioneering national clinical nutrition development at hospitals nationwide.

In 2016, Abbott signed an MoU with MoH and has been working with Vietnam in a Quality Improvement Program (QIP) to enhance clinical nutrition care in hospitals. This has involved the development of a standardized tool and process to screen and assess patients for nutritive deficiencies and the enhancement of knowledge and capacities among healthcare professionals through QIP training. To date, it has implemented QIPs at seven key hospitals nationwide, bringing tangible benefits to patients and the public.

Accompanying APEC Vietnam, Abbott has shared several initiatives in order to improve healthy aging, under the scope of the International Workshop on Sharing Experience on the Adaptation to Ageing Population held in Hanoi last June by MoH and the General Office for Population.

Improving Maternal Health

One of the most important healthcare topics being discussed at APEC 2017 is Maternal Health. Malnutrition in children has fallen rapidly in Vietnam over the past decade but there continues to be high levels of stunting malnutrition caused by nutritional deficiency in mothers during pregnancy and lactation.  

Accompanying Vietnam in taking care of Maternal Health, in 2016 Abbott partnered with MoH on a key project: “Improvement of the Nutrition Status for Pregnant Women and Lactating Mothers.” Using its wealth of nutrition expertise, Abbott worked with MoH to establish National Maternal Health Guidelines for pregnant women and lactating mothers at hospitals nationwide.

As the Platinum sponsor of the APEC CEO Summit 2017, Abbott will continue to accompany the Vietnamese Government and its people in joining hand address key issues regarding healthcare. By leveraging its extensive expertise in nutrition as well as other areas of healthcare, Abbott has been able to make a meaningful impact on public healthcare across the globe.

The company remains committed to investing in the long-term health of Vietnamese people and sees many more opportunities for partnerships and developments in the future.

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