HIV/AIDS Leadership Mapping in Vietnam

Vietnam is facing an HIV/AIDS epidemic that is accelerating while changing its character, shifting from concentrated within high risk groups into the general population. With the early recognition of the potential threat of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, the Government of Vietnam decided to establish its National AIDS control program in 1987, even before the first case of HIV infection was detected in 1990. Ever since, the HIV/AIDS program in Viet Nam has obtained remarkable achievements in communication and education to improve the people’s awareness and knowledge. However, most of essential and necessary factors for a sustainable and effective program including organization structure, human resource, strategic planning, projection of the epidemic as well as the national goals and indicators, etc. have not been clearly identified. This research was carried out in December, 2004.

– The comprehensive mapping on leadership and HIV/AIDS will identify key institutions, both political and non-political, individuals and their respective networks of influence on HIV/AIDS.
– Identify gaps and opportunities for leadership for change in Viet Nam.

The research group conducted a comprehensive mapping of the key political leadership structures in Viet Nam, studying the functions and responsibilities of the National Committee for Prevention and Control of AIDS, Drug and Prostitution, the HIV/AIDS system of three key Ministries: Ministry of Health, Ministry of Public Security, and Ministry for Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA) and some social mass organizations. The report also reviewed the activities of HIV/AIDS system in Vietnam, described the roles of the Ministries and organists of policy formulation and approval process for HIV/AIDS and analyzed the factors contributed for the success of the Population and Family Planning program.

The country’s political leadership system basically composed of the 3 leading forces with distinguished in their organization, tasks and functions:  The Party, the State and the Fatherland Front, of which the Party plays leading role of the entire country’s political system. Instruction No. 52-CT/TW demonstrated the commitment from the highest level of leadership in our country toward the HIV/AIDS control. The next was the increasing investment of the Government for HIV/AIDS and a series of Decrees, strategies, guidelines were issued, the most important documents was the National Strategy for Prevention and Control of HIV/AIDS up to 2010 and Visioning toward 2020.

Some shortcomings were found out in this assessment. Organizational structure of HIV/AIDS at  the provincial level and lower was not completed, tasks and functions of each level were not identified. Staffing capable to undertake the leading role of the national HIV/AIDS program was questioned. Actual cooperation among the three key Ministries, as well as the coordination of programming, planning and implementation of activities appeared to be week and loosened. Many problems in terms of monitoring and supervision activities among Government agencies as identified from other surveys.

It is necessary to complete and to stabilize its network and strengthen staff at the peripheral levels and provincial level; to improve the cooperation and coordination among the three member Ministries, as well as to other health programs; to pay more attention to the monitoring and evaluation; improving the awareness of the leader for receiving more supports from leadership.

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