Six doctors of RTCCD and NCDs-VN alliance attend the Training workshop for National lecturers on hypertension and diabetes management applying family medicine principles at commune health sector June 11 -13, 2018

Progress on UN HLM on NCDs advocacy and alcohol control in Vietnam

18th July 2018

In advance of the UN High-Level Meeting on NCDs, The Vietnam NCD alliance (NCD-VN), which is a part of the NCD Alliance’s Seed Programme, has been working to sensitize the National Assembly and various Government Ministries (Health, Industry and Trade, Justice, and Information and Communication) about NCD prevention and control through strengthening advocacy in 6 priorities: 

  1. Asbestos ban in 2020
  2. Coal-fired power plant restriction and promoting Sustainable Energy
  3. Promote the implementation of FCTC article 5.3 and advocate for tobacco tax increase
  4. Develop draft law and advocate for the passing of the Law on Alcohol-related harm prevention
  5. Promote NCDs management training for health human resources at the primary healthcare level
  6. NCDs prevention and control through social media.

Between April and June 2018, NCD -VN organized 3 workshops, presented and participated in more than 20 local workshops and taskforce meetings, and wrote around 10 articles for newspapers and on social media to advocate for these six priorities. At these events, NCD-VN’s experts emphasized information relating to health impacts, economic return and WHO’ Best Buy package.

The Ministry of Health has also responded positively to NCD-VN’s engagement regarding advocacy for high-level participation at the UN HLM on NCDs. 

  • The Minister of Health, Mrs. Nguyen Thi Kim Tien showed her commitment on these above priorities and will attend the UN HLM on NCDs 2018 in New York.
  • NCD-VN, along with HealthBrigde Canada and Vietnam Public Health Association, have been recognized as key actors in advocating for tobacco and alcohol control.
  • RTCCD, the coordinating organization of NCD-VN, was invited by MoH and WHO to participate in training program for primary healthcare staff in controlling high blood pressure and diabetes. Under the coordination of RTCCD, NCD-VN experts have been collaborating with NorthWest University to establish the Faculty of Health Science as the foundation for developing a training program for health human resources in disadvantageous areas.

One ongoing campaign has been dedicated to the passing of a law on alcohol harm prevention, which is expected to be submitted to National Assembly meeting in October, 2018. The law, which was drafted by the Ministry of Health and commented on by HealthBridge Canada and NCDs-VN experts, focuses on WHO’s Best Buy interventions to reduce harmful use of alcohol (increase taxes on alcoholic beverages, ban or restrict alcohol advertising, and restrict physical availability of alcohol in sale outlets).

This draft law will potentially encounter obstacles when submitted to the National Assembly because of strong opposition from the Ministry of Industry and Trade, Ministry of Finance, and the alcohol industry. Therefore, the Ministry of Health and other key stakeholders have tasked NCD-VN to deliver a workshop on “Alcohol, poverty and health fund” this August in order to gather community-based evidence to share with policy makers, strengthen communication on social media to support the Ministry of Health, and especially to amplify the voices of people directly impacted by alcohol-related harm in the process of developing the law.