Prioritization of zoonotic diseases of public health significance in Vietnam
Introduction: Prioritization of zoonotic diseases is critical as it facilitates optimization of resources, greater understanding of zoonotic diseases and implementation of policies promoting multisectoral collaboration. This study aimed to establish strategic priorities for zoonotic diseases in Vietnam taking a key stakeholder approach.
Methodology: Two weeks prior to a workshop on zoonotic diseases a questionnaire was developed and posted to key professionals involved in different areas of zoonotic disease management in Vietnam. Respondents were asked to assess the relative priority of 12 zoonotic diseases using a number of evidence-based criteria, and to provide suggestions to strengthen multisectoral collaboration.
Results: A response rate of 69% (51/74) was obtained, and 75% (38/51) respondents worked in non-international Vietnamese organizations. Respondents identified the top five diseases for prioritization in Vietnam as: avian influenza, rabies, Streptococcus suis infection, pandemic influenza and foodborne bacterial diseases. The three criteria most used to rank diseases were severity of disease, outbreak potential and public attention. Avian influenza was ranked as the number one priority zoonotic disease in Vietnam by 57% of the respondents, followed by rabies (18%). Respondents identified coordination mechanisms, information sharing and capacity building as the most important areas for strengthening to enhance multisectoral collaboration.
Conclusions: This study is the first systematic and broad-based attempt to prioritize zoonotic diseases of public health significance in Vietnam using key stakeholders, and a comparative and transparent method. There is limited literature for policy makers and planners on this topic and the results of this study can be used to guide decision-making.
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