WHO hails Việt Nam’s willingness to share technologies in COVID fight

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Vihelm, the mobile Isolation Helmet, and its young innovators. — VNA/VNS Photo Thống Nhất

GENEVA — The World Health Organisation (WHO) has said it values Việt Nam’s innovation spirit and willingness to share COVID-19 prevention and control technologies.

At a meeting between representatives of the WHO and Việt Nam in Geneva on innovation in the COVID-19 fight, WHO Assistant Director-General Mariangela Simao lauded the cooperation of the Vietnamese Government in the medical sector and efforts to promote innovation, especially the ideas of young people, such as Vihelm “mobile isolation” hats.

The WHO welcomed the intention of the Vihelm creators in joining the COVID-19 Technologies Access Pool (C-TAP), a joint initiative by the WHO and Costa Rica.

Deputy Health Minister Đỗ Xuân Tuyên said that Việt Nam welcomed the C-TAP initiative that aimed to strengthen international solidarity in handling the COVID-19 pandemic. By encouraging science-technology initiatives in COVID-19 control and honouring countries responding to the Solidarity Call to Action, C-TAP had drawn the involvement of and contributions by creators and technology firms in global anti-pandemic efforts, he noted.

He said that so far, many innovative ideas had been developed and applied in Việt Nam, including Vihelm, an air purification device that helps protect the respiratory system. The creators proposed the use of the device instead of traditional quarantine.

The Vihelm invention team has shared the product design for free and is ready to support technology transfer through C-TAP to facilitate access, he said, adding that their contribution to C-TAP represented international solidarity against COVID-19, which was welcomed by the WHO and the Ministry of Health of Việt Nam

Tuyên expressed his belief that with the coordination of the WHO and the active engagement of countries, inventors and scientists with a strong sense of international solidarity, C-TAP would continue to grow with many applicable scientific studies and practical products.

The official said that Việt Nam was willing to join C-TAP to share its open inventions and transfer technologies to deal with the pandemic and other diseases.

Following the meeting, which took place after the recent visit by President Nguyễn Xuân Phúc to the WHO, experts worked in detail with the Vihelm team on a number of technical issues related to the WHO’s evaluation process on medical products, to put Vihelm on to a list of shared inventions as part of C-TAP.

This will enable the transfer of Vihelm production technology to producers in other countries, thus contributing to the global COVID-19 response. — VNS

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