HA NOI — The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development yesterday launched the National Co-ordinated Action Programme on Avian Influenza, Pandemics Preparedness and Emerging Infectious Diseases (AIPED) for the 2011-2015 period.
The programme will focus on improving and enhancing the capacity to monitor and respond to infectious diseases, and to diagnose them in labs. It will also focus on improving treatment and preparedness, and expanding citizen awareness through the mass media to control disease outbreaks and recurrence.
It is also aimed at timely discovery and response to new human and animal diseases and preparedness for any epidemics that affect humans.
The Partnership Conference on Avian and Human Pandemic Influenza was also held to call for more support from the international community to help Viet Nam deal with the issue. Viet Nam would stand side by side with the international community in building and implementing activities at international, regional and national levels, to face the risk of dangerous new epidemics on humans which are rooted on the avian flu H5N1 virus, said Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Dao Xuan Hoc.
Viet Nam was among the countries hardest hit by the avian flu, but with close co-ordination from the international community the country had achieved encouraging results in preventing the disease over the past eight years, he said.
To date, Viet Nam had been able to control the circulation of the avian flu virus and reduce the number of infections in humans. However, the risk remained high so the conference was calling for further support from domestic and foreign partners to implement the AIPED and discussing orientations and challenges facing the country in responding to the diseases in the coming time, Hoc added.
Chief representative of the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) in Viet Nam Yuriko Shoji said AIPED was set up to provide a comprehensive route and map out important milestones to maintain achievements that had already been made and to continue avian flu prevention and control activities as well as risks of other animal-to-human epidemics.
She affirmed the necessity to continue responding to avian flu challenges and possible epidemics, and apply lessons from the fight against H5N1 and H1N1 to other highly infected diseases on the basis of the interaction between animals, humans and the environment. — VNS