Vietnam has a current population of 96 million people. As a result of the successful reforms, beginning in 1986, Vietnam has enjoyed a high GDP growth rate, consistently ranked among the fastest-growing countries in the world. It nevertheless faces challenges including poverty. Urbanization is rapidly rising and around one third of Vietnamese people reside in urban areas.
KNCV began working with Vietnam in the 1990s. KNCV actively supports Vietnam to deliver effective TB interventions, including improved diagnostics, improved drug-resistant TB care, and the ability to measure the reduction in TB incidence over time with repeated TB prevalence surveys. Vietnam is one of thirty countries that not only has a high-burden of TB but also a high burden of multidrug-resistant TB, according to the WHO Global Tuberculosis Report 2018.
Over the past five years (2012-2017) the TB mortality rate in Vietnam has steadily declined by 8% per year and well exceeds the global average. Vietnam has also achieved a high treatment success right (above 70%), again well above the global average of 55%. Despite these gains, 12,000 people per population of 100,000 died of TB in 2017.
The overall strategy of the KNCV-led, USAID-funded Challenge TB project (2014-2019) in Vietnam was to develop, pilot and evaluate TB care and prevention innovations that are planned under the National Strategic Plan 2015-2020, in close collaboration with the NTP, VAAC, the USAID Mission and partners. After evaluation and ensuring adjustments, the innovations will be mainstreamed by the NTP with domestic and other donor (mainly GF) resources.
In 2017, the CTB Vietnam saw the introduction and scale-up of GeneXpert machines make a significant contribution to the diagnosis of MDR-TB patients in the country. An additional 65 GeneXpert systems have been introduced with Vietnam being the first country to offer multi-disease testing devices through GeneXpert platforms, for TB and HIV testing.
Progress was also achieved in scaling-up Programmatic Management of Drug-resistant TB (PMDT). Vietnam pioneered the Patient Triage approach for RR-TB patients using SL-LPA as the initial diagnostic test for the detection of fluoroquinolone- and second-line injectable resistance.
CTB Vietnam has also supported the NTP in the development and implementation of the second National TB Prevalence Survey. This survey provided a precise overview of the current TB burden plus essential information for developing the Vietnam TB elimination strategy as well as estimating funding needs for interventions.
The Vietnamese Ministry of Health has granted KNCV with a prestigious national award of honorable merit. Currently, TB rates in Vietnam are estimated to be at 182 cases per 100,000 people (36 times higher than in The Netherlands). Around 13,200 people die each year from TB each year including 2,200 PLHIV. Vietnam also has malaria hotspots, food-borne & water-borne pathogens, as well as other neglected tropical diseases.