Atlantic to Fund QLD Uni Vietnam Project
21 September 2006 at 1:09 pm
Charles Feeney’s US Atlantic Philanthropies has announced a five-year, $4 million grant to the University of Queensland to work with medical groups and the Vietnamese government to strengthen vital health data collection in the Southeast Asian country.
Previous studies have indicated a range of growing health problems in Vietnam, including motor vehicle injuries, HIV/AIDS, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and strokes.
In addition, malaria, malnutrition, and respiratory infections persist in many areas.
With the grant from Atlantic, a team of more than twenty Australian and Vietnamese health and statistics experts will work to develop better cause-of-death data as well as determine the most cost-effective way to allocate resources to specific areas of need
UQ health experts will also gather more detailed birth and death data to help improve the country’s health system.
Vietnam currently lacks comprehensive statistics on births, deaths and disease.
Project Manager, Associate Professor Hill says improving cause of death data was the main focus of the project but it was also about allocating the right resources and health policies to areas of need in a cost effective way.
He says Vietnamese academic researchers and government personnel will be trained in policy, advanced mortality, burden of disease and cost-effectiveness analyses.
By the end of this project, he says they’ll have much stronger systems in terms of recording mortality and in their local capacity to continue these studies and interpret the data.
Professor Hill says it is known that Vietnam is in an economic and social transition but what isn’t known is to what extent that transition is impacting on the pattern of disease — bringing with it the problems of dietary and lifestyle change.
He says the Vietnam project grew out of The Atlantic Philanthropies’ UQ scholarship program for Masters of Public Health and the links it provided to Vietnam’s leading medical universities.
UQ will work mainly with Vietnam’s Ministry of Health, Hanoi Medical University, the Health Strategy and Policy Institute, Hanoi School of Public Health, the General Statistics Office and other medical universities.
The Project Director, UQ’s Professor Alan Lopez, says UQ and Harvard University are the only institutions in the world that had the expertise to provide large-scale evidence based health policy.