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India, Brazil, South Africa and the United Nations launch innovative e-learning for health training programme in Viet Nam

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17112014 photo_ibsa_launch_hp117 November – Hai Phong, Viet Nam: To mark the 35th anniversary of Hai Phong University of Medicine and Pharmacy, the leading Medical University in Viet Nam's Northern Coastal Region, a cutting edge e-learning for health training is being launched today to improve the quality and coverage of health care in Northern Viet Nam.

The e-Health Learning for Health Professionals training programme sees the development of an e-learning infrastructure and training modules for both students as well as trained health care providers. Over the next three years, the online training programme will improve the quality and access to health care at commune and district level, and contribute to the overall goal of reducing poverty in Northern Viet Nam, especially for poor, isolated and disadvantaged groups.

The training programme is the result of a unique collaboration between India, Brazil, South Africa (the so-called IBSA countries) the United Nations in Viet Nam, the Ministry of Health and Hai Phong Medical University. With the support of the IBSA Trust Fund, Hai Phong Medical University will develop e-learning training programmes drawing upon the knowledge and expertise of the World Health Organisation (WHO), the specialised United Nations Agency on Health.

More specifically, it will enable WHO collaborating centres based in India, Brazil and South Africa to work with Hai Phong Medical University and the Ministry of Health to integrate new, innovative, online training modules into traditional medical learning programmes. The dynamic electronic learning component ensures that the training programmes can be accessed by a wider variety of health care providers both on-campus as well as remotely in selected district health centres.

The e-learning training programme aims to target trainers based in Hai Phong, but also 80 district and 160 commune health staff in the Northern Coastal region. The initial focus will be on improving the knowledge and treatment of non-communicable diseases (NCD). NCDs count for a significant part of the disease burden in Viet Nam especially in poor, isolated and disadvantaged groups. This training will contribute directly to the UN's support to the Ministry of Health in preventing and effectively manage non-communicable diseases under the One-UN Plan 2012-2016.

17112014 photo_ibsa_launch_hp2Dr Pratibha Mehta, United Nations Resident Coordinator said at the launch: "The use of online learning to improve the skills and knowledge of health workers in disadvantaged and hard to reach areas is very encouraging. The United Nations are delighted to have this valuable support from India, Brazil and South Africa to help improve the lives and well being of the people of Viet Nam."

Ambassador Mrs Preeti Saran, of India spoke on behalf of the IBSA countries: "I am delighted to be present here today to launch the IBSA e-health project to train health workers in Viet Nam to provide access to better healthcare in remote areas and thus contribute to development and poverty alleviation. This project comes close on the heels of a very successful implementation of the first IBSA project in Viet Nam on rice research in Da Nang. It shows the importance IBSA attaches to its partnership with Viet Nam. It is a glowing example of South-South cooperation where developing countries from 3 different continents have come together to assist each other."

Viet Nam is only scratching the surface of e-learning, with universities across the country yet to fully harness its potential. This innovative training programme could become a useful robust model for expanding to other parts of Viet Nam, but also to India, Brazil and South Africa. As such, it is an example of genuine South-South cooperation.

For More Information:

  • Manu Eraly, World Health Organization, Country Office Viet Nam, Tel: +84 4 39 43 3734 (Ext. 83860), Mob: +84 121 466 1530, E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Trinh Anh Tuan, UN Communications, Viet Nam, Mob: +84 90 3296393, Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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