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VN addresses threat of zoonotic diseases

Update: August, 26/2015 - 09:50
There have been more than 200 recorded emerging diseases which transmit from animals to humans that impact on public health and the global economy. — Photo yteduphongtphcm.gov.vn

HA NOI (VNS) — "Viet Nam actively took action to prevent diseases that could be transmitted from animals to humans", said Nguyen Thanh Long, Deputy Health Minister at an international health conference yesterday in Ha Noi.

The conference, on zoonotic disease control, was the first of its kind held in Viet Nam. It was co-hosted by the Vietnamese and Indonesian governments responding to the World Health Organisation's Zoonotic Disease Action Package (ZDAP).

Representatives from nearly 30 countries, international organisations and government agencies attended.

For the past 10 years, the health and agricultural ministries ministry have both taken action to prevent and control zoonotic infections.

This was particularly effective in responding to highly contagious avian influenza in Viet Nam and other countries, said Vu Van Tam, Deputy Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development.

An action plan for the first year of a five year target is expected to be completed before the conference ends today.

Participants also discussed the package's priorities and will propose them to the WHO's Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) Ministers' Meeting to be held in Seoul in the Republic of Korea next month.

Launched in February 2014 by US President Barack Obama with the WHO and other international partners, GHSA has attracted the participation of 44 countries.

At the conference, US Ambassador to Viet Nam Ted Osius pledged that the US government would dedicate time, effort, resources and expertise to reach the package's goal.

There have been more than 200 recorded emerging diseases which transmit from animals to humans that impact on public health and the global economy.

"Sixty per cent of all diseases and 75 per cent of emerging diseases that have affected humans in the past 30 years originated from animals", said Pratobha Mehta, United Nations resident coordinator in Viet Nam.

In Viet Nam poor hygiene, small-scale poultry and cattle breeding and the habit of eating pig blood pudding led to zoonotic infections, said Tran Dac Phu, director of the department of preventive medicine.

In addition, the management of animal importing across borders was poor, Phu said. — VNS

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