MI and Partners Launch Successful Vietnam Methanol Education Programs

Vietnam Launch
Hanoi, Vietnam – On Tuesday, MI and Hanoi Medical University’s Institute for Preventative Medicine & Public Health (HMU-IPMPH) held a successful launch of their Vietnam Methanol Education Programs (VMEP), jointly supported by Bach Mai Hospital’s Poison Control Center (PCC) and The LIAM Charitable Fund.
More than 100 senior government officials, medical and public health experts, and media participated in the half-day workshop.  There was also extensive media coverage, including TV and print media interviews with HMU senior officials and MI’s Dom LaVigne.  Dom and Lhani Davies presented on the MI-LIAM collaboration in Indonesia and the work by MI’s Product Stewardship Committee and Bootleg Alcohol Prevention Subcommittee.  Professor Nguyen Duc Hinh (HMU President), Professor Le Thi Huong (Director of IPMPH), Dr. Nguyen Trung Nguyen (Director, PCC), and senior officials from Vietnam’s Ministry of Health (MOH), Vietnam Food Administration (VFA) also presented during the workshop.
MOH indicated that Vietnamese consumers drink 3.4 billion litres of beer and 600 million litres of liquor annually.  This is worth US$3 billion, or three per cent of the country’s GDP.
On Wednesday, HMU-IPMPH researchers and Dom LaVigne went to Phu Tho Province to begin a study on medical and community knowledge of adulterated alcohol and methanol poisonings, symptoms, and treatment.  Researchers also engaged homemade alcohol producers and took random product samples for testing.  They also met with key provincial officials to discuss public policy and law enforcement efforts to mitigate harm from adulterated beverages.
IPMPH expects to complete the study by July.  They and MI will share the results with member companies and other stakeholders.  From these findings, IPMPH and other partners will develop targeted medical, community, and alcohol producer trainings in Phu Tho and Hanoi.  MI is currently working with IPMPH and PCC to structure the VMEP’s strategic outreach and public communications initiatives for April-December. Vietnamese media coverage can be viewed HERE, HERE, HERE (in English) and HERE.

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