June 24, 2013


US to fund avian influenza project in Vietnam


The US Agency for International Development (USAID) will fund a US$1.7 million project extension, which will be implemented by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), in order for Vietnam to improve its readiness to prevent and cope with avian influenza.


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 on-going H7N9 events," said Scott Newman, FAO Senior Technical Coordinator at the Emergency Centre for Transboundary Animal Diseases (ECTAD) in Hanoi.


The FAO ECTAD Vietnam programme also receives financial support from USAID for elements of the Emerging Pandemic Threats Programme, and most recently, additional support to implement an H7N9 Avian Influenza Preparedness Programme.


Since 2005, USAID has contributed more than US$50 million in assistance and technical support to combat avian influenza and other emerging infectious diseases in Vietnam.