Vietnam to unveil advanced plan to fight bird flu

HANOI - Vietnam, the country hardest-hit by avian flu but free of the disease for six months, will present a model plan on containing the virus at an Asia-Pacific conference next week, international officials said on Friday.

The "Green Book" outlines medium- and long-term strategies for fighting the deadly H5N1 strain of the virus among people and animals to help prevent a global pandemic.

It includes poultry and livestock production reforms, public awareness campaigns and tighter border controls to prevent illegal poultry trade.

"I'm sure it is the most advanced integrated plan that you will find in the region on avian influenza," Markus Cornaro, the EU Ambassador to Hanoi, said after a 10-day assessment of the plan with the government and aid agencies.

The H5N1 virus struck poultry and people in the Southeast Asian country of 83 million in late 2003. Vietnam, with 42 deaths out of 93 human cases reported, has the highest casualty rate but it has not had a human case of H5N1 since November.

In recent weeks, neighbours Cambodia and China have reported infections in people and poultry.

The draft five-year plan will be presented at the 21-nation Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) avian flu meeting of ministers of agriculture and health in the central Vietnam city of Danang from May 4-6. In November, the Vietnamese capital of Hanoi will host leaders of APEC, a group that includes economic powers such as the United States and China.

Source: Reuters
calendar icon 28 April 2006
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