HA NOI (VNS)— Viet Nam will improve its readiness to prevent and cope with avian influenza under a project funded by the United States Agency for International Development.
A US$1.7 million project, to be implemented by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), will continue to strengthen the control of H5N1 outbreaks and other emerging infection diseases including the emerging H7N9 risk, according to a press release issued by FAO yesterday.
The funding will help the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development's departments of Animal Health and Livestock Production to develop and apply policies and legislation to improve bird flu and other animal disease control nation-wide.
The project will also help to enhance overall animal health systems through support to laboratory staff, improve surveillance and diagnostic quality as well as monitoring vaccines and evolving viruses to inform government responses.
Scott Newman, FAO senior technical co-ordinator at the Emergency Centre for Transboundary Animal Diseases (ECTAD) in Ha Noi pledges to help the Vietnamese Government with everything necessary to be well prepared.
The ministry announced at a meeting on Tuesday that the country had been free of poultry and animal outbreaks, including avian flu.
All 1,200 samples taken from discarded smuggled poultry between last June and February this year proved negative to the lethal H5N1 and H7N9 flu types, according to the animal health department.
However, vigilance must be maintained against the return of the outbreaks because of the presence of virus in the environment and the threat from unvaccinated poultry, the ministry officials said. — VNS