PANO – 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).
The project implemented by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) 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.
The funding will also support the two departments, the 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.
Dr. Scott Newman, FAO Senior Technical Coordinator at the Emergency Centre for Transboundary Animal Diseases (ECTAD) in Hanoi, said that it is important to heighten Vietnam’s readiness and surveillance against both the present risk of H5N1 that recently took the live of a four-year-old Vietnamese boy in Dong Thap Province, and the ongoing H7N9 events.
Reportedly, 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.