The agreement was signed on March 22 by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology and Pasteur Institute in HCM City.
Under the five-year project, a level-3 (highest level) biosafety laboratory will be established at the Pasteur Institute to examine and manage highly hazardous infectious pathogens.
To strengthen capacity in prioritising infectious diseases, the project aims to improve laboratory diagnosis and biosafety in provincial centres for preventive medicine, which are supervised by the institutes.
The project will also enhance training for centres by providing necessary equipment and teaching materials.
Fujita Yasuo, Chief Representative of JICA Office in Vietnam, said: “Last February, the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology was able to diagnose the Ebola virus, making the institute one of the leading examination and research institutes in Southeast Asia.”
“Thanks to the previous project, we believe that through the third phase of the project, the two institutes will be able to diagnose highly hazardous infectious pathogens more rapidly and accurately. The ability to cope with infectious diseases of Vietnam and neighboring countries will increase,” he added.
Dang Duc Anh, Director of the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology said: “Thanks to these standardised laboratories, we are able to diagnose highly contagious diseases, including influenza A H5N1 and Ebola virus.”
"If the biosafety laboratory is established at the Pasteur Institute, the country would be able to quickly deal with epidemics that are likely to return as major outbreaks," Anh said.