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FAO Shares 8 Years of Achievement for Bird Flu Control in Viet Nam and a Future Commitment

15/12/2014

Project closing workshop celebrates successes and lays groundwork for a new USAID-funded Emerging Pandemic Threats 2 (EPT-2) program to be implemented by MARD & FAO.

December 15th, 2014 Ha Noi – To celebrate the closing of an eight year long project, OSRO/RAS/604/USA “Immediate Technical Assistance to Strengthen Emergency Preparedness for Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) to Viet Nam”, funded by the United States Agency of International Development (USAID), the Emergency Centre for Transboundary Animal Disease (ECTAD) of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Viet Nam co-organized a closing workshop with the Department of Animal Health (DAH) and the Department of Livestock Production(DLP) within the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD).  This event was an occasion to highlight achievements and challenges during the eight year project (2006-2014) which provided almost USD $17 million of support to Viet Nam.

The HPAI (highly pathogenic avian influenza) focused project aimed on combatting H5N1 HPAI and other zoonoses through technical and financial support to MARD primarily in areas of capacity development, coordination, surveillance, laboratory diagnostics, vaccination, biosecurity along value chains, improved animal production practices, and communication.  With the number of human deaths from H5N1 HPAI falling from 39 in 2004 and 2005 before the project, to less than a handful in 2012-2013, international agencies and the global community refer to the response to H5N1 HPAI by the Government of Viet Nam as an example of the successes that can be achieved in controlling this disease.

The project has strongly supported initiatives of MARD and encouraged adaptation of technical elements into policy and legislation, but most importantly, FAO ECTAD worked closely with DAH and MARD to develop an influenza management plan to be implemented beyond the duration of the project.

“After the implementation of the HPAI project for eight years, we have witnessed a drastic reduction in the impacts of the H5N1 HPAI virus on poultry and people in Viet Nam and the animal health systems have significantly enhanced capacity to detect and respond to avian influenza and other zoonotic diseases” said Dr. Scott Newman, Senior Technical Coordinator of the FAO ECTAD Viet Nam Program.

While one project comes to a close, FAO ECTAD VN is looking forward to further collaboration with MARD and other One Health partners upon receiving government clearance for the implementation of a newly funded USAID global program, EPT2 - ‘Risk Mitigation and Management of Human Health Threats along Animal Value Chains’.  Within Viet Nam, FAO and MARD will build on the successes obtained in the past HPAI project and broaden efforts to address other zoonotic disease threats at the human-livestock-wildlife-ecosystem interfaces.

“As Viet Nam is identified as a potential emerging infectious disease hot spot, we hope to build more sustainable capacity and ownership in disease response and management through our next project.  In our programs, we aim to minimize impacts of diseases on animals, people, livelihood, food safety and food security” stated Mr. Jong Ha Bae, the country representative of FAO Viet Nam.

Key components to making Vietnam safer from avian influenza in 8 years

Contact:

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
 Ms. Ki Jung Min (Communication Officer)
Tel: 84-4- 3942.4208 (Ext 44)
Email: kijung.min@fao.org