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UN Pledges to Further Support Bird Flu Prevention

09 October 2008

VIET NAM - The United Nations (UN) has praised Viet Nam's active part in fighting avian influenza (AI) and announced that it will continue to support the country in the prevention and control of the epidemic.

During the plenary meeting of the Partnership on Avian and Human Influenza (PAHI), which took place in Hanoi on October 8, UN Resident Coordinator John Hendra said it is vitally important to discuss measures to control the bird flu epidemic today and in the future.

“The virus is still present here and in a number of other countries, and therefore the need for controlling the virus in poultry, protecting humans, and preparing for a possible human pandemic still remain,” he said.

Mr Hendra also emphasised the need to restructure the production, transport, marketing and consumption of poultry throughout the country.


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"The virus is still present here and in a number of other countries, and therefore the need for controlling the virus in poultry, protecting humans, and preparing for a possible human pandemic still remain."
John Hendra, UN Resident Coordinator

Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Cao Duc Phat assured that Viet Nam will closely work with partners to review plans and financial sources for implementation of the Integrated Operational Programme for Avian and Human Influenza, also known as the Green Book, in the 2006-2010 period.

So far, some US$201 million of the total estimated cost of $250 million have been committed to the programme, said Phat, who is also chair of the National Steering Committee on Avian Influenza Control and Prevention.

The programme aims to reduce the risk to humans by controlling the disease in domestic poultry, by detecting and responding promptly to human cases, and by preparing for potential consequences of a human pandemic.

It urges closer coordination between the government, donors and other related parties through the establishment of PAHI.

According to Phat, Vietnam has mobilised all resources for combating avian influenza and has made efforts in restructuring its poultry sector to control the transmission of the disease.

Statistics released by the Department of Animal Health under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development showed that five outbreaks occurred in Vietnam between the end of 2003 and now. Among the 27 cities and provinces affected by bird flu in 2008, only the southernmost province of Ca Mau has not been declared a bird flu-free area.

There have been 106 human cases of influenza A subtype H5N1 in Vietnam since the first case was reported in December 2003. Among those cases, 52 deaths have been confirmed.

Up to 97 percent of the victims were reported to have exposure to or contact with poultry before they became ill.

ThePoultrySite News Desk



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