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A lesson using One health Approach in Traditional Vietnamese Markets in COVID-19 Pandemic

Updated: Jan 4

Food Supply Chains in traditional Vietnamese markets in COVID-19 pandemic: A lesson using One health approach

The COVID-19 pandemic is a global crisis and has enormously affected every aspect of human life. Besides the medical crisis, COVID-19 can lead to an insecure food supply, particularly in vulnerable communities. In Vietnam, the market plays a vital role in the whole country's food supply system; any disruptions in this chain can have huge effects on the overall population. The food supply chain is domino-like, and any part of the process can be unsafe during a pandemic.

One way to prevent such a pandemic is through interventions at the human-animal-environment interface using an integrated One Health (OH) approach. According to the World health organization (WHO), the COVID-19 pandemic is a powerful demonstration that the health of humans, animals, and ecosystems is intimately linked.

This project is led by Dr. Le Dinh Duong, University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Hue University, Vietnam. The project aims to rapidly evaluate the local workplaces' risk of the COVID-19 pandemic and investigate employees' knowledge, attitude, and practice toward the disease during the fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in Vietnam.

The project was implemented to evaluate the coping for the COVID-19 pandemic of employment in the food supply chain using a rapid assessment tool by direct observation and interviewing the related workers in a total of 28 workplaces. 14 of the total 28 markets were provided and distributed food for Hue city for this assessment. While most facilities were assessed as the high risk of COVID-19 (orange code), only Thuan An port was at low risk (green code) of COVID-19. The disruption of the facility of this chain occurred with 12 workplaces being closed under the pandemic's impacts, and half of 28 sites occurred infection cases with COVID-19 disease.

The project invited a total of 300 employees who are working in the food supply chain, comprising ports, farms, production units, research, distribution, logistics, and small traders in markets. The main sources of food supply chain for the Hue markets were provided from different districts in Thua Thien Hue province, such as: Hue city, Quang Dien district, Huong Tra district, Huong Thuy district, and Phu Vang district.

In the KAP survey, we invited 300 employees who worked in the food supply chain for markets in Hue city. 100% of participants had been vaccinated, including the second and third doses (94.7%) and the first dose (5.3%). Almost of participants understood the preventive measure for COVID-19, such as wearing a mask (93%), hand washing (62%), or keeping a distance (54.3%). Regarding the pathway of COVID-19 disease, it can transmit through the small liquid (71%) and direct contact (48.7%). Only 48.3% of participants supposed that the virus caused COVID-19 disease. In terms of COVID-19 symptoms, fever and dry cough are the most common symptoms of the disease. These findings indicated that employees still lack knowledge of the COVID-19 pandemic and their responses.

Almost all participants agreed and strongly agreed to respond to COVID-19 prevention by the local authority and the Vietnamese government. The highest score on the attitude scale was vaccine injection (4.37), followed by wearing a mask (4.15). The percentage of agreement on the COVID-19 vaccine was the highest (98%).

In occupational characteristics, physical distancing is hard to meet the recommendation of WHO and MOH in the workplaces, particularly in the slaughterhouse markets. Half of the participants were closely contacted (less than 1 meter) during working time. In the individual response of employees, 100% of workers wear a mask and 88.7% of them supposed that the workplaces had regulations for wearing a mask during working in the facilities. In the crisis, health declaration was reported among 87.7%, comprising 43.3% of paper forms and 42.3% using the mobile application; both methods were 2%. More than 1 in 3 employees was self-testing for COVID-19 diseases.

Nearly 95% of participants thought that COVID-19 directly impacted to lose of their income, and it also reduced 76.3% of customers. The COVID-19 pandemic negatively impacted the mental health of 56.3% of participants and delayed health examination (44%).

SEAOHUN 2022 Small Grants

Project team leader: Duong Le Dinh, Hue University of Medicine and Pharmacy

Team members:

Assoc. Prof. Nguyen Xuan Hoa (University of Agriculture and Forestry, Hue University)

Ms. Nguyen Thi Quynh Anh (University of Agriculture and Forestry, Hue University)

Dr. Dang Thi Anh Thu (University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Hue University)

Dr. Tran Binh Thang (University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Hue University)

Dr. Nguyen Thanh Gia (University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Hue University)

Mr. Nguyen Minh Tu (University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Hue University)

Ms. Dang Thi Thanh Nha (University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Hue University)

- Personal protective equipment, distancing, and group size standards in this photo were consistent with local public health guidance and COVID-19 status in the specific country and time it was taken. This may not reflect best practices for all locations where COVID-19 is still spreading. -

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