Towards the development of Vietnam’s national dementia plan—the first step of action

Tuan Anh Nguyen, Thang Pham, Thu Ha Dang, Walter Ladson Hinton, Anh Trung Nguyen, Tuan Le Pham, Maria Crotty, Susan Kurrle, Quang Thuc Bui, Huong Nguyen, Elizabeth E. Roughead

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: To foster a national dialogue on addressing dementia as an emerging public health problem and formulating a strategy for developing Vietnam’s national dementia plan. Methods: In September 2018, the Vietnamese National Geriatric Hospital supported by University staff in Australia and the United States organised the first Vietnam National Dementia Conference in Hanoi. Results: Over 270 Vietnamese dementia stakeholders and international dementia experts participated in the conference. The participants agreed dementia was a public health priority in Vietnam and identified the need for the development of Vietnam’s national dementia plan. Policymakers supported positioning dementia as a priority in the national health agenda. Research institutions created collaboration to generate scientific information for policymaking process. Funding and international supports were obtained to develop Vietnam’s national dementia plan. Conclusion: Strong leadership, stakeholder engagement and international support are critical in raising awareness and advocating for the development of Vietnam’s national dementia plan.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)137-141
Number of pages5
JournalAustralasian Journal on Ageing
Volume39
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Strong leadership, stakeholder engagement and international support are critical in raising awareness and advocating for the development of Vietnam’s national dementia plan. Funding information The conference was financially supported by the Vietnam National Geriatric Hospital and partly supported by a University of California, Davis Global Affairs Grant.

Funding Information:
TAN is supported by a National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)—Australian Research Council (ARC) Dementia Research Development Fellowship (grant identification number APP1103860) and an Australian NHMRC—Vietnam National Foundation for Science and Technology Development (NAFOSTED) international collaborative research grant (grant identification number APP1154644). WLH, HN and TP are supported by a National Institutes of Health (NIH) R21 grant (grant identification number 5R21AG054262‐02). MC and SK are both supported by an NHMRC Partnership Centre on Dealing with Cognitive and Related Functional Decline in Older People grant (grant identification number APP9100000). EER is supported by an NHMRC Senior Principal Research Fellowship (grant identification number APP1110139). The contents of the published material are solely the responsibility of the individual authors and do not reflect the views of NHMRC or ARC or NIH.

Funding Information:
Prior to the conference dementia was not considered a public health problem in Vietnam by many stakeholders. Having an opportunity to engage in the national dialogue, directly discussing the worldwide and urgent public health challenge of dementia, the global response to dementia, and the implication for Vietnam enabled stakeholders’ perspectives to be heard and solutions considered. The stakeholders recognised the importance of addressing the needs of people with dementia and their carers at all levels in Vietnam from government policy to health‐care system to the community and to individuals. They agreed that Vietnam was facing the dual challenges of dementia evidence and research capacity gaps, which had been a major impediment to raising awareness and advocating for the development of VNDP. Increasing international collaboration was considered an important approach to building dementia research capacity to generate scientific evidence and obtaining financial and technical supports. The conference provided an impetus for action. A Vice Minister of Health met with the WHO Representative to Vietnam to discuss the inclusion of dementia into the WHO Vietnam working agenda. The General Department of Preventive Medicine (GDPM), MOH called a meeting with the Therapeutic Service Administration, MOH and two leading mental health and aged care providers: the National Psychiatric Hospital No 1 and the National Geriatric Hospital to discuss the inclusion of dementia into the MOH working agenda. The GDPM subsequently submitted to the Minister of Health a proposal to develop and implement a national action plan for the period 2021‐2025 that integrates dementia, other highly prevalent mental health disorders and noncommunicable diseases (NCDs). The importance of the conference to the public was evident as both global and Vietnamese statistics on dementia presented at the conference were widely cited in mass media across Vietnam. Another direct outcome from the conference was a commitment to an interdisciplinary partnership between key institutions in Australia, the UK, the United States and Vietnam. The opportunity of involving lead research and academic institutions in the policymaking process has been created. A grant application for advancing Alzheimer’s family caregiving interventions and research capacity in Vietnam was submitted to US National Institutes of Health and successful. Another grant application submitted to the Australian NHMRC and the National Foundation for Science and Technology Development (NAFOSTED) of Vietnam was also subsequently funded to strengthen Vietnam’s responses to dementia through building an evidence platform for the development of VNDP. Equally important to the funding secured from Vietnamese and Australian Governments to develop VNDP were the international supports. Representatives of the WHO headquarter, WHO WPRO and WHO Vietnam organised a follow‐up meeting with the NHMRC‐NAFOSTED research team to discuss ways forward. An agreement was reached for WHO to be a key partner, working closely with the research team for the development of VNDP. The first step of this partnership will be WHO Vietnam working with the MOH to organise the second Vietnam national dementia conference of key stakeholders by the end of 2019 to enable a needs assessment and priority setting. The NHMRC‐NAFOSTED research team also received supports from the Strengthening Response to Dementia in Developing Countries (STRiDE) project with regard to knowledge sharing.

Funding Information:
The conference was financially supported by the Vietnam National Geriatric Hospital and partly supported by a University of California, Davis Global Affairs Grant. TAN is supported by a National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)?Australian Research Council (ARC) Dementia Research Development Fellowship (grant identification number APP1103860) and an Australian NHMRC?Vietnam National Foundation for Science and Technology Development (NAFOSTED) international collaborative research grant (grant identification number APP1154644). WLH, HN and TP are supported by a National Institutes of Health (NIH) R21 grant (grant identification number 5R21AG054262-02). MC and SK are both supported by an NHMRC Partnership Centre on Dealing with Cognitive and Related Functional Decline in Older People grant (grant identification number APP9100000). EER is supported by an NHMRC Senior Principal Research Fellowship (grant identification number APP1110139). The contents of the published material are solely the responsibility of the individual authors and do not reflect the views of NHMRC or ARC or NIH.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 AJA Inc.

Keywords

  • Vietnam
  • dementia
  • national plan
  • policy

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