To help Vietnam respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, USAID recently contributed new resources for laboratory strengthening, in addition to the already existing partnership between USAID and WHO to strengthen laboratories under the Global Health Security Program. USAID through WHO has provided laboratory supplies and reagents for advanced molecular diagnostics, laboratory biosafety systems, training, and technical assistance for protocols and quality assurance, contributing to Vietnam’s enhanced capacity in more than 20 laboratories now capable of testing COVID-19 specimens. These Government of Vietnam laboratories have now conducted more than 120,000 COVID-19 tests among persons suspected of infection and their contacts, resulting in identification of 267 cases of COVID-19 as of April 15. This response is a reflection of Vietnam’s ability to scale up in response to an epidemic.
So What? USAID’s investment in Vietnam has contributed to a strong laboratory system, which is essential to the country’s COVID-19 outbreak response.