Vietnam will improve its readiness to prevent and cope with avian influenza under a $1.7 million project extension funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and implemented by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
The project will continue to strengthen the control of H5N1 outbreaks and other emerging infectious diseases including the emerging H7N9 risk. The new funding will help the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development’s Departments of Animal Health and Livestock Production develop and apply policies and legislation to improve bird flu and other animal disease control nationwide.
“We are pleased to be able to continue our support in this area, especially as we look at ways to avert avian influenza and other emerging pandemic threats in the region through this important activity,” said USAID Mission Director Joakim Parker.
New USAID funding will support the Department of Animal Health, Department of Livestock Production, National Centre of Veterinary Diagnosis, Regional Animal Health Offices and associated laboratories to continue monitoring viruses through collection and analysis of bird samples at more than 250 live bird markets, and improve biosecurity in poultry production. The project’s activities will also help enhance overall animal health systems through support to laboratory staff, improve surveillance and diagnostic quality and monitoring vaccines and evolving viruses to inform government responses.
“It is important to heighten Vietnam’s readiness and surveillance against both the present risk of H5N1 that recently took the life a four-year-old Vietnamese boy in Dong Thap Province and also the ongoing H7N9 events,” said Dr. Scott Newman, FAO Senior Technical Coordinator at the Emergency Centre for Transboundary Animal Diseases (ECTAD) in Hanoi.
The FAO ECTAD Vietnam program also receives financial support from USAID for elements of the Emerging Pandemic Threats Program, and most recently, additional support to implement an H7N9 Avian Influenza Preparedness Program.
Since 2005, USAID has contributed more than $50 million in assistance and technical support to combat avian influenza and other emerging infectious diseases in Vietnam.
Source: US Embassy in Vietnam