On December 11th, 2019, the World Heart Federation (WHF) partnered with VinaCapital Foundation to hold the Hypertension Roundtable: Reducing Consequences of cardiovascular disease (CVD) in Vietnam. The roundtable gathers 40 leaders in the prevention and treatment of Hypertension in Vietnam, including cardiologists, researchers, nutrition experts, and public health experts including Professor Nguyen Lan Viet, Permanent Vice-President of Vietnam National Heart Association, Head of National Program of Cardiovascular Disease Prevention, Associate Professor Nguyen Thi Bach Yen, Vice- Head of National Program of Cardiovascular Disease Prevention, Mr. Jean-Luc Eiselé, CEO of World Heart Federation, and Mr. Rad Kivette, CEO of VinaCapital Foundation, a member of WHF in Vietnam. Besides, the meeting includes representatives from key international technical and policy agencies, Non-Communicable Disease (NCD) Alliance, and RESOLVE-LINKS and is supported by Access Accelerated.

Mr. Rad Kivette, CEO of VinaCapital Foundation, a member of WHF in Vietnam

Mr. Jean-Luc Eiselé – CEO of the World Heart Federation, presenting at the roundtable

The Roundtable agenda includes presentations focused on challenges, innovations, and potential solutions to barriers in the prevention and treatment of hypertension and CVD in Vietnam. Worldwide, 3 out of every 10 people have hypertension. Hypertension is a serious risk factor for CVD death and is known as the “silent killer” as about half of all people with hypertension are unaware of their condition. In Vietnam in 2016, cardiovascular diseases, including hypertension, were responsible for 31% of all deaths in the country which was equivalent to more than 170,000 people. Approximately 91,000 of those deaths were due to hypertension. While 19% of adults 18-69 years have hypertension, only 13.6% of people with hypertension are being treated at a health facility. Awareness and treatment of hypertension and CVD are lowest in rural areas.

Professor Nguyen Lan Viet commencing the discussion

At the roundtable, Associate Professor Nguyen Thi Bach Yen, Vice Head of the National Program of Cardiovascular Disease Prevention, presents barriers to the medical management and treatment of hypertension. An expert from the National Institute of Nutrition, Dr. Nghiem Nguyet Thu, discusses nutrition approaches to hypertension prevention and management. The major causes of CVD and hypertension are tobacco use, obesity, a high salt diet, lack of physical activity, harmful use of alcohol, increasing urbanization, and pollution. MD. Ph.D. Lai Duc Truong, an officer of the World Health Organization in Vietnam shares information about WHO’s support for hypertension management in commune health stations in Vietnam while the representative of PATH shares about the innovative approaches to hypertension management in HCMC. At the conclusion, Professor Nguyen Lan Viet and Associate Professor Nguyen Thi Bach Yen and provincial healthcare workers discussed experiences and perspectives of diagnosing and treatment of hypertension and CVDs in rural and community settings. Most CVDs can be prevented by addressing behavioral and environmental risk factors. People with CVDs, or who are at high cardiovascular risk due to hypertension, need early detection and management using counseling and medicines.

40 experts proactively discussed at the roundtable

The Roundtable is an exciting opportunity for medical and public health experts to gather in active discussion and deliberation to accelerate the reduction of hypertension and CVD-related health problems in Vietnam. In one day, the participants proactively discuss building consensus around key barriers to hypertension prevention and management, find specific solutions, and then develop targeted action plans to spur rapid progress in this area. The roundtable contributes to Vietnam’s national program of cardiovascular disease prevention in terms of scientific approaches, practical solutions, and particularly, valuable cooperation between Vietnamese organizations and international federations and NGOs.

Appreciation to the speakers at the roundtable

VCF giving flowers to representatives of WHO, PATH, and the National Institute of Nutrition


World Heart Foundation: The World Heart Federation is the principal representative body for the global cardiovascular community, representing more than 200 heart foundations, scientific societies, civil society, and patient organizations from over 100 countries. Since 1978, WHF has been working to end needless deaths and build global commitment to improved cardiovascular health at the global, regional, national, and community levels. WHF Roundtables provide a national meeting forum for stakeholders in cardiovascular health to identify barriers to and solutions for secondary and primary prevention of cardiovascular diseases and then develop a national plan of action to be implemented in partnership with governments and policymakers, healthcare professionals, academic and research institutions, NGOs, health activists, and advocates and corporate entities. WHF acts as the global facilitator of the Roundtables, empowering and supporting country Members to take a leading role in convening national Roundtables and in taking forward the Action Plans coming out of these stakeholder meetings. Since 2016, WHF and its members have organized 7 roundtables in Brazil, Colombia, Spain, Saudi Arabia, the Philippines, Kenya, and Mexico, on cholesterol, hypertension, and Prevention of CVD among people living with diabetes

The VinaCapital Foundation: The VinaCapital Foundation (VCF) is an American registered 501(c)(3) public charitable organization, registered as a foreign non-governmental organization in Vietnam. Founded in 2006, VCF aims to support national economic development and empower the children and women of Vietnam through health and education programs. The work of VCF touches the lives of millions in Vietnam’s all 63 provinces every year.

VCF’s grassroots medical programs include Heartbeat Vietnam and Outreach Clinics – designed to locate disadvantaged children with congenital heart defects and other non-communicable diseases in even the remotest areas and provide access to quality healthcare. Medical capacity-building programs are partnerships with the Ministry of Health and include Critical Response emergency care – pediatric advanced life support training & emergency equipment, and Survive to Thrive – building capacity for neonatal care. VCF’s education initiative in cooperation with Vu A Dinh Scholarship Fund, the Brighter Path program, is an empowerment and scholarship program for impoverished but academically talented ethnic minority girls that develops communities and reduces poverty.

Vietnam National Heart Institute: The Vietnam National Heart Institute, as the leading unit of the medical field, has been assigned by the Ministry of Health to be the main implementing unit, formerly the Hypertension Prevention Project, and from 2016 to the present, the Cardiovascular Disease Prevention Project. The overall objective of the Project is to control the increase in common cardiovascular diseases (hypertension, stroke, and myocardial infarction). With specific goals, at least 50% of people with Hypertension will be detected early and at least 30% of hypertension patients will be detected, managed, and treated according to professional instructions.

To accomplish these goals, the Project has the following main activities: building a Project management system, developing common professional documents for all levels, researching, developing, and completing models, screening and managing Hypertension for nationwide deployment, and organizing training courses for health workers and community educators on Hypertension.

Vietnam National Heart Association: Vietnam National Heart Association (VNHA) was established under Decision No. 128-CT-HDBT of the Committee of Ministers signed by Vice Chairman Nguyen Khanh on April 16, 1992. VNHA is a non-profit organization that brings together cardiologists, health workers, and other social forces with a common goal: “Together to reduce the burden of cardiovascular disease”. Over nearly 30 years of establishment and development, the VNHA has attracted the enthusiastic participation of numerous colleagues in 63 provinces and cities nationwide and internationally. Since the establishment of only 250 members, up to now, VNHA has more than 1,300 members, including hundreds of Professors, Associate Professors, and PhDs who are active in the Association and nearly 50 honored members, who are famous professors and experts from many countries around the world. To date, the VNHA has made many positive contributions to the development of the country’s cardiovascular field and to the fight against cardiovascular diseases, which is on a fast-growing trend in Vietnam.

Access Accelerated: Access Accelerated is a first-of-its-kind, a multi-stakeholder collaboration focused on improving NCD care. Involving more than 20 biopharmaceutical companies, the initiative works with partners such as the World Heart Federation, World Bank Group, City Cancer Challenge, and NCD Alliance to help overcome a variety of access barriers to NCD medicines in low-income and lower-middle-income countries. Access Accelerated will support multi-stakeholder dialogue and begin the groundwork to improve NCD prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. For more information, please visit AccessAccelerated.org

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