US Naval Medical Research Unit (NAMRU-2) visits to and exchanges research cooperation with IMPE-QN
On August 15th 2022, a delegation of experts from the US Naval Medical Research Unit (NAMRU-2) visited and worked at the Institute of Malariology, Parasitology, and Entomology Quy Nhon (IMPE-QN). This was the 2nd visit of NAMRU-2 delegation to IMPE-QN in 2022 with the purpose of exchanging, sharing information and seeking cooperation opportunities in the field of research and treatment of malaria as well as other infectious diseases.
The representatives of NAMRU-2 delegation included Captain Jonathan Stahl - Commanding Officer, Captain John Brooks - Director of NAMRU-2 in Viet Nam, CDR Andrew Letizia - Science Director, LCDR Nathaniel Christy - Microbiologist. Welcoming and working with the experts were Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ho Van Hoang - Director, Dr. Huynh Hong Quang - Vice Director, leaders and staff from Departments of Epidemiology, Research & Treatment, Entomology, Molecular Biology, and International Cooperation.
At the meeting, Assoc.Prof. Ho Van Hoang highly appreciated the delegation's visit to IMPE-QN in the context of increasing emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases in Viet Nam and all over the world. He also introduced the Institute's functions and duties, its achievements in the control of malaria, parasitic and vector-borne diseases in the past time. The director stated that international cooperation in scientific research has been one of the main focus of the IMPE-QN's development strategy in the new period towards elimination of malaria and emerging and re-emerging parasitic diseases in Central Highlands of Viet Nam.
IMPE-QN welcoming the experts of NAMRU-2 to visit and exchange international research cooperation
The Director also thanked NAMRU-2 for their excellent collaboration and support in the past time and hoped that the meeting would expand and deepen the positive relationship between the two sides and develop new research programs in malaria research and treatment as well as other infectious diseases. The success of research programs would contribute to the people's healthcare, especially for ethnic minorities and ones living in remote and deep-lying areas in the Central Highlands.
At the meeting, Dr. Huynh Hong Quang, Vice-head of IMPE-QN delivered the presentation on evaluation report of achieved results in cooperation projects between IMPE-QN and NAMRU-2 in Central Highlands in the period of 2018-2021 and the research studies being carried out in 2022. The report included major impacts and important results in reduction of the malaria burden and in accelerating the malaria elimination roadmap in Viet Nam. The report also mentioned updated changes in National Guidelines for malaria treatment in Vietnam via evident-based medicines in the field-sites and labs.
Dr. Huynh Hong Quang, vice-director in his presentation at the meeting
Besides, the Vice-Director, on behalf of the leadership, proposed some of new research fields in the next period of 2023-2025 on insecticide resistance, integrated vector management to simultaneously prevent multiple vector-borne diseases, control and elimination of emerging and re-emerging parasitic diseases in the Central Highlands.
Captain Jonathan Stahl said that NAMRU-2 has worked in collaboration with Army Medical Department, 108 Military Central Hospital (Ministry of Defence) and Ministry of Health to deploy surveillance of malaria and infectious respiratory diseases since 2013. He conveyed his appreciation for the important contribution of cooperative projects with IMPE-QN in Central Highlands. The report from IMPE-QN helped the experts to understand the burden of diseases in Central Highlands of Viet Nam. The cooperation between IMPE-QN and NAMRU-2 has gained the fruitful results, contributing to the change of National Anti-malarial Drugs List, and development of new strategy for diagnosis and treatment of asymptomatic and symptomatic malaria patients, thereby promoting the roadmap of malaria elimination in Viet Nam.
Captain Jonathan Stahl appreciating the cooperation projects with IMPE-QN in Central Vietnam
During the discussion, IMPE-QN staff and NAMRU-2 experts consulted about other vector-borne diseases such as dengue fever, fascioliasis or fever of unknown origin. Besides, the staff of IMPE-QN proposed new research studies on application of molecular biology to detection of low density malaria parasites; identification of malaria vectors; capacity building of IMPE-QN in malaria microscope, entomological techniques and good clinical practices. After the meeting, the delegation also visited and worked with the investigators of IMPE-QN at the laboratories of malaria parasite culture, in vitro testing and molecular biology.
The experts of NAMRU-2 visiting the Molecular Biology Laboratory
It is hoped that the support of NAMRU-2 and other projects would contribute to fill a gap in infectious diseases control in Viet Nam in general and in Central Highlands in particular.
Assoc.Prof. Ho Van Hoang offering the Commanding Officer of NAMRU-2 the gift as a keepsake.